Managing biosecurity matter under the Act
A regulation may establish the whole or part of the State as a biosecurity zone and include arrangements for managing, reducing or eradicating pests, diseases or other regulated biosecurity matter inside or outside the zone. Guidelines may provide what are considered reasonable and practical steps for the circumstances.
A biosecurity zone for a stated biosecurity matter (regulated biosecurity matter) can be established across the whole or part of the State, for example, for cattle ticks or fire ants. These can be tailored to meet the unique nature and the tactical challenges of addressing ongoing, specific biosecurity risks.
These regulatory instruments and powers will provide enhanced capability and flexibility for frontline resources, enable more cost-effective responses and reduce burdens for stakeholders.
The Act allows for regulations to be made about a range of issues including:
- prohibited matter
- restricted matter
- acceptable levels of contaminants and notifiable incidents
- entity registration
- animal identification and tracing, movement records
- particular biosecurity zones
- local government responsibilities
- land protection fund payments and barrier fence building authorities
- compliance agreements
- accredited certifiers
- auditors and auditing
- inspectors and authorised persons
Regulations, along with departmental policy documents, will guide the way in which the various powers and instruments are implemented. The legislation also provides the capacity for the development of codes of practice and guidelines.
Code of practice
A Code of Practice can be made about a range of matters relating to biosecurity. A code of practice is made under a regulation and can provide ways in which you must discharge their general biosecurity obligation. Compliance with a code of practice under the Regulation would be mandatory. Before making a code of practice the Chief Executive must consult with the relevant entities.
For example, a code of practice could be made about appropriate land use practices that must be used to prevent or minimise the spread of invasive animals and invasive plants.
A guideline may be made by the Chief Executive about:
- matters relating to the administration of the Act
- ways of discharging the general biosecurity obligation
- complying with other requirements imposed under the Act.
The contents of a guideline may be taken into account when determining if you have or have not discharged your general biosecurity obligation or otherwise complied with provisions of the Act. If you have not followed a guideline, it cannot be presumed that you have breached their general biosecurity obligation or otherwise failed to comply with provisions of the Act. In such a case, you will have to demonstrate what other steps they took to discharge their general biosecurity obligation.