Report No. 35, 54th Parliament - Biosecurity Bill 2013

Committee's Report

The committee's report on its examination of the Biosecurity Bill 2013 was tabled on 24 February 2014.

The report can be obtained from the Tabled Papers database or by the following link: Report No. 36, Biosecurity Bill 2013.

Government Response:

View: Government response to Report No. 35, Biosecurity Bill 2013.

Tabled on 5 March 2014 by Hon. John McVeigh MP, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

About the Bill

On 19 November 2013, Hon John McVeigh MP, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, introduced the Biosecurity Bill 2013.

The Bill was referred to the Agriculture, Resources and Environment Committee in accordance with Standing Order 131.

The committee will examine the policies the Bill seeks to give effect to, the Bill’s lawfulness, and the application of fundamental legislative principles, as set out in section 4 of the Legislative Standards Act 1992.

The committee must report to Parliament on the Bill by 24 February 2014.

According to the Bill and Explanatory Notes, the Bill will repeal the Agricultural Standards Act 1994, the Apiaries Act 1982, the Diseases in Timber Act 1975, the Exotic Diseases in Animals Act 1981, the Plant Protection Act 1989 and the Stock Act 1915, amend the Chemical Usage (Agricultural and Veterinary) Control Act 1988, the Fisheries Act 1994 and the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002, and make minor and consequential amendments to a number of other Acts.

The Bill seeks to:

  • Provide a cohesive legislative framework that provides proportionate powers and flexibility to respond in a timely and effective way to animal and plant diseases and pests. It will also manage risks of contaminants in carriers and ensure the safety and quality of animal feed, fertilisers and other agricultural inputs. By aligning responses with national and international market access obligations, it will provide confidence that market access requirements of our customers are being met;
  • Establish obligations in relation to reporting and dealing with biosecurity matters that potentially have an adverse impact on the economy, human health, natural environment and social amenity. It also seeks to establish disease tracing obligations in relation to the identification and movement of animals;
  • Adopt the precautionary principle that a lack of scientific certainty should not postpone action to manage emergency biosecurity events where serious or irreversible damage is plausible. This acknowledges that the costs of not taking action to a potential threat, such as a highly infectious zoonotic disease transmitted between animals and humans, can be more significant than the cost of taking early and definitive action which subsequently proves to be unnecessary;
  • Provide for the State to enter into intergovernmental agreements with the Commonwealth or another State to recognise biosecurity (assurance) certificates which allow a business to self-certify that its produce meets the quarantine requirements of its destination. The Bill also seeks to provide a statutory basis for the Minister or chief executive to enter into a government-industry agreement, similar to the Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement, Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed and National Environmental Biosecurity Response Agreement. These agreements between the State and other jurisdictions, local governments, industry bodies or natural resource management bodies establish arrangements for rapid responses to pests and diseases and define how costs related to management of a biosecurity event are shared. This will enable Queensland to meet its obligations as a signatory to the national biosecurity system.

View: Biosecurity Bill 2013
View: Explanatory Notes
View: Explanatory Speech
View: Guidelines for making a submission
View: An overview of the Bill (by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry)
View: Biosecurity Bill 2013 Framework (by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry)
View: Key differences from the lapsed Biosecurity Bill 2011 (by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry)



Public Briefing: The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry provided a public briefing to the committee on 5 December 2013 - transcript

Public Hearing: The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry held a public hearing on 12 February 2014 - transcript


Advanced Search

Related Publications

Publication Details Type Published Date Tabled Date Committee Name