For almost five years the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has been rewriting Australia’s century old quarantine legislation.
For the next four weeks, industry and community members have the chance to examine the draft legislation that has resulted and provide their feedback.
Minister for agriculture, fisheries and forestry Joe Ludwig said Australia’s biosecurity risks have changed significantly since the existing Quarantine Act was first written in 1908.
Despite more than 50 amendments since that time, the independent Beale Review in 2008 found that significant reforms were needed to strengthen Australia’s biosecurity system, including the need for new biosecurity legislation.
Starting with a blank sheet of paper, DAFF has rewritten the legislation which can now be viewed on a newly created departmental website by clicking here.
The Beale Review made 84 recommendations for improvement. The draft legislation directly address 19 of these recommendations, according to documents released on the DAFF website yesterday.
The public consultation phase is open until August 10.
People can also post comments to a blog on the website, and monitor associated news on Twitter by following #biosecurity.
Mr Ludwig said DAFF will also host community meetings and engage with representative biosecurity user groups, and receive written submissions.”
The Government expects final bills will be considered by a Parliamentary committee and debated in the Spring 2012 sitting of the Australian Parliament.