Biosecurity planning to protect your property

If an unauthorised person enters your property, call the police on 000 if it is an emergency or PoliceLink on 131 444 if there is no immediate threat.

On-farm biosecurity helps protect your property against entry and spread of pests, diseases and chemical residues, and looks after your plants, animals and the environment.

On-farm biosecurity is the responsibility of the property owner and every person who visits or works on the property.

Biosecurity plan vs biosecurity management plan

A biosecurity plan is a document that outlines individual biosecurity risks that are unique to a place (property, facility or local government area) and the processes that are used to manage those biosecurity risks.

You may need a plan:

  • as part of a program
  • to access funding or assistance
  • to be covered by legislation
  • in response to a disease or pest incursion.

A biosecurity management plan has additional requirements to a biosecurity plan as it is supported by the Biosecurity Regulation 2016 to address the issue of unauthorised access. Unauthorised access to a property may pose a biosecurity risk to places where animals are kept (not applicable to non-livestock agricultural properties). Under these rules, biosecurity risks which are individual to each property can be outlined in a biosecurity management plan, implemented by registered biosecurity entities.

Biosecurity management plans include:

  • the title - biosecurity management plan
  • specific legal wording
  • requirements for signage
  • must be made available to visitors during business hours so they know what steps they must take to comply with the plan. This ensures visitors do the right thing to minimise biosecurity risk to the property.

Biosecurity management plans and registered biosecurity entities

All visitors, unless they are permitted to enter a place under an Act must comply and follow directions in a biosecurity management plan if it has been implemented on a place that is also a registered biosecurity entity (RBE).

Failure to comply with a biosecurity management plan is an offence and can result in the unauthorised person/s being fined or prosecuted under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

If you are not eligible to become an RBE, you can still implement a biosecurity management plan as best practice, however it is not considered to be an offence if a person doesn’t comply with it. A biosecurity management plan can be a valuable tool during negotiation phases of a compensation and conduct arrangement.

Farm check-in

Farm check-in is a tool for visitors to help identify potential biosecurity risks and minimise the spread of pests and diseases when entering an agricultural property.

To implement Farm check-in on your property, you must also include the following into your biosecurity management plan:

  • the requirement for the visitor to scan the QR code and complete the Farm Check-In form prior to entry
  • the email address for the visitor to send a copy of the form to.

Signage with a QR code must be displayed on your property gate.

Legal access to land

Farming land is often accessed by other industries who share legal rights to access agricultural properties.

This can include electricity providers, resource and gas companies, licence or permit holders, or those who have a contract to enter the property.

Those who have a legal right to access do not have to comply with a biosecurity management plan however, all visitors must comply with the general biosecurity obligation under the Biosecurity Act 2014 regardless of their rights to access the property.

Visitors with legal rights to access may choose to comply with the biosecurity management plan as a way of meeting their general biosecurity obligation, as they would then be fully aware of the unique biosecurity risks in the area.

When visitors arrive

When visitors arrive at your property you must have a copy of the biosecurity plan, or biosecurity management plan available for inspection, on request, during ordinary business hours.

You should ask any person entering your property to confirm they have read and understood the plan, and their obligations under it.

Unauthorised access to agricultural properties

If an unauthorised person enters your property, call the police on 000 if it is an emergency or PoliceLink on 131 444 if there is no immediate threat.

Nobody should ever enter anyone else’s property unless they have been given permission, are authorised under legislation or a contract, or have a valid reason. A valid reason includes emergency services for emergency situations and essential service organisations to maintain safe and reliable services. Other exemptions exist for personnel who are required or permitted by law to enter property, for example, utility providers, exploratory mining permit holders and gas exploration etc.

Unauthorised entry at places where animals are kept can pose biosecurity risks. This includes the spread of diseases from infected people to animals and the spread of diseases and pests carried on people (e.g., clothing, footwear), vehicles or equipment moving onto a property.

More information