Biosecurity programs enable the state, local government and invasive animal boards to be proactive in identifying and responding to a pest, disease or any other type of biosecurity matter that poses a significant risk.
There are two types of Biosecurity programs
- surveillance programs
- prevention and control programs
The time period over which a biosecurity program runs must be defined, but can vary depending on the program requirements.
Before authorising a biosecurity program, the state, local government and invasive animal boards must consult with each other. This will enhance coordination and reduce unnecessary intrusion.
The state and one or more local governments may work together to authorise and carry out a biosecurity program. However, a local government biosecurity program may relate only to those places in its local government area and for invasive biosecurity matter for which it is responsible.
A biosecurity program can be authorised by the Chief Executive of DAF, the Chief Executive of local government or by a resolution of a local government or the invasive animal board, for example the Darling Downs Moreton Rabbit Board.
The program authorisation must state:
- the purpose of the program
- the biosecurity matter, start, period, area
- objective criteria for selecting places to be entered and inspected
- the powers an authorised officer may exercise under the program
- measures an authorised officer may take under the program.
The authorisation of the biosecurity program must be published on a website and also in other ways such as in newspapers, radio or television as considered appropriate.
The program must be limited to a period reasonably necessary to achieving the programs' purpose.
Find a list and more detail on current biosecurity programs.
A surveillance program may be authorised and directed at any of the following:
- monitoring compliance with the Act,
- confirming the presence, or determining the extent of or distribution of biosecurity matter
- confirming the absence of biosecurity matter
- monitoring levels of biosecurity matter or levels of biosecurity mater in a carrier. Alternatively, a surveillance program may
- monitoring the effects of measures taken in response to a biosecurity risk or confirm the absence of biosecurity matter.
Surveillance programs provide additional specific powers of entry for authorised officers. Ongoing surveillance activities may be necessary to be undertaken by the State to ensure swift responses are taken against biosecurity matter, including unlisted biosecurity matter, if introduced to Queensland. Surveillance programs may be used to satisfy Queensland's trading partners that the State, or parts of the State, are free of the biosecurity matter.
A local government may authorise a surveillance program for monitoring compliance with the Act and monitoring the effect of measures taken by landowners in response to biosecurity risk posed by invasive plants within its area or part of its area. A local government's authorised person may enter land in that area after following the appropriate entry procedure. While a surveillance program authorisation does authorise direct action by the authorised officer, an authorised officer may exercise their general powers.
The authorised officer may determine that a person has failed to discharge a general biosecurity obligation and may issue a biosecurity order or take other enforcement action as required. The Act also enables follow up in the event of non-compliance with a biosecurity order and recovery of the cost of the local government taking the actions required by the biosecurity order.
Prevention and control program
A prevention and control program may be authorised and directed towards:
- preventing the entry, establishment or spread of biosecurity matter in an area; or
- Managing, controlling or eradicating biosecurity matter that could pose a significant biosecurity risk.
A prevention and control program may be authorised if:
- There is or likely to be prohibited matter in an area. For example Boa constrictor released on the Gold Coast spit.
- There is any biosecurity matter in the area that poses a significant biosecurity risk. For example a plague of locusts in central Queensland, Miconia calvescens in the wet tropics region or rabbits in the DDMRB area
- Measures are required to prevent the entry or establishment of biosecurity matter that poses a significant biosecurity risk. For example the distribution of pesticide baits for red imported fire ants
- After consultation with an industry group or community that measures are jointly required to control biosecurity matter in an area that would have a significant effect on the industry or community.
A prevention and control program provides a specific power of entry for an authorised officer and enables the authorised officer after following the appropriate entry procedure:
- to direct the occupier to take reasonable necessary steps to remove or eradicate biosecurity matter to which the program relates or
- to destroy the biosecurity matter or carrier themselves if they believe on reasonable grounds that it poses a significant biosecurity risk.
For example the state government may authorise a prevention and control program for locusts. A state government authorised officer may enter land following the appropriate entry and consent procedure and spray pesticides on a swarm of locusts.
A local government may authorise a prevention and control program for a particular invasive plant within its area or part of its area. A local government's authorised person may enter the land following the appropriate entry procedure and give a direction to the occupier to take reasonable steps to remove or eradicate the invasive plant within a reasonable time.
A prevention and control program provides additional powers of entry for an authorised officer. This enables the authorised officer to direct the occupier to take reasonable steps to:
- remove or eradicate biosecurity matter to which the program relates
- to destroy the biosecurity matter or carrier if they believe on reasonable grounds that it poses a significant biosecurity risk.
The occupier must comply with the direction. The Act enables follow up action by the local government in the event of non-compliance, with the direction and the local government may enter and undertake the steps.