On 2 May 2019, the Biosecurity Bill 2019 (No 15 of 2019) (the “Bill”) was introduced to Tasmania’s House of Assembly (the “Assembly”) by the Hon Guy Barnett (Minister for Primary Industries and Water). The new Bill proposes to consolidate a number of current biosecurity laws. The Bill is currently before the Assembly where it is awaiting further discussion.
The following Tasmanian legislation is proposed to be repealed by the new Bill:
According to the Bill’s Explanatory Memorandum (the “EM”), the object of the Bill [in part] is to ensure that responsibility for biosecurity is shared between government, industry and the community, as well as ensuring that Tasmania is protected from threats posed by pests and disease to land and water based industries and environments, public health and public amenities, community activities and infrastructure.
The EM also indicates the Bill is expected to “provide a simpler and more efficient legal framework for the management of weeds and vermin, imports of plant and animal products, biosecurity emergencies, and monetary reimbursement for biosecurity related loss”.
reveals a major shortcoming of the present biosecurity legislation (in particular the Plant Quarantine Act 1997), is the absence of a system to regulate the operation of industry certification schemes in Tasmania. During early 2018 Tasmania was subject to Queensland Fruit Fly incursion where infested fruit was imported after it had been fumigated and certified as “fruit fly free”.
also says that a strong legal framework is needed to govern the operation of private certification schemes in Tasmania. Under the Bill, industry based biosecurity certification auditing and accreditation activities will be subject to the regulatory oversight of Biosecurity Tasmania.
According to the EM, three new key concepts are proposed to be introduced:
Also, a new statutory General Biosecurity Duty (“GBD”) is also proposed to be introduced and will impose a statutory duty on all Tasmanians and businesses to use reasonable standards of care when dealing with any biosecurity matter or carrier of biosecurity matter. Failure to comply with the GBD will be a criminal offence.
Clause 71 of the Bill (Failure to comply with general biosecurity duty) currently notes the penalty for contravention of “general biosecurity duty” as:
In a, Minister Barnett commented:
In regards to the benefit of overhauling the current legislation, Minister Barnett noted in his Speech:
TimeBase is an independent, privately owned Australian legal publisher specialising in the online delivery of accurate, comprehensive and innovative legislation research tools including LawOne and unique Point-in-Time Products. Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice and does not substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.
Biosecurity Bill 2019 – Bill and supporting information available from TimeBase's LawOne service
FREE legislation news, delivered weekly.
Sign up now.#WeLoveLegislation Tweets
NEW information resources - great for training.