Increased powers and accountability

Broader powers to deal with risks

The Biosecurity Act 2014 has a broader range of powers than previous legislation. This allows for application of the Act across all biosecurity issues and emergencies. Key tools and powers under the Act include:

  • Biosecurity emergency orders—emergency actions to isolate and stop the spread of biosecurity matter, and where possible eradicate it (e.g. an authorised officer would use a biosecurity emergency order to deal with an outbreak of equine influenza).
  • Movement control orders—used to assist with the management, reduction or eradication of a specified biosecurity matter by prohibiting or restricting the movement of biosecurity matter or a carrier (e.g. a movement control order was used in managing Panama tropical race 4 disease).
  • Biosecurity programs—used in non-emergency situations to enable state and local governments to proactively identity and respond to a pest, diseases or other biosecurity matter that poses a significant risk (e.g. surveillance programs, prevention and control programs).
  • Biosecurity zone regulatory provisions—include arrangements for eradicating, reducing or managing an animal or plant pest or disease, a weed, marine pests or contaminant. A biosecurity zone may be established across the whole or part of the state, for an extended period of time    or indefinitely.
  • Biosecurity orders—a directive used for the enforcement of the general biosecurity obligation. An authorised officer may issue a biosecurity order to direct a person to comply with their general biosecurity obligation.

Increased accountability

These broad powers also require increased accountability in the way in which they are used. Accountability measures include:

  • internal and external reviews and appeals—refer to Chapter 12 of the Biosecurity Act 2014
  • tabling of reports about a biosecurity emergency in Queensland's Legislative Assembly
  • providing and publishing reports
  • mandatory consultation processes (e.g. when establishing codes of practice or biosecurity programs)
  • compensation provisions—refer to Chapter 11 of the Biosecurity Act 2014.

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