Stronger biosecurity laws to protect the ACT


The ACT Government is implementing new biosecurity laws through the Biosecurity Act 2023 and the Biosecurity Legislation Amendment Bill 2024 to help protect the Canberra community and its environment from pest animals and plants, and animal and plant pest and diseases.

Minister for the Environment, Parks and Land Management Rebecca Vassarotti said that these new laws will support the implementation of a new biosecurity system that modernises the way that government plans for current and emerging biosecurity risks.

“Australia’s biosecurity threat environment is elevated which is why the ACT Government is reforming biosecurity laws and arrangements to ensure we remain protected and can respond quickly and effectively as necessary,” Minister Vassarotti said.

“Following the introduction of the Biosecurity Act 2023 (Act) in November last year, which is expected to commence later this year, the Biosecurity Legislation Amendment Bill 2024 (Bill) introduced today will streamline our biosecurity processes and support further interstate cooperation with our NSW counterparts to prevent, eliminate or minimise biosecurity risks in the Territory.

“The Act introduces and reinforces that we each have a shared responsibility and a general duty to act and understand risks. Biosecurity is the management of risks to the environment, economy and community of pests and diseases entering, emerging, establishing or spreading.

“Government, business, industry and community all have a joint responsibility to identify and management biosecurity risks to help protect the ACT from the potentially harmful impacts of biosecurity incidents.

“Amendments introduced in today’s Bill are technical in nature and will support the regulatory and administrative processes in preparation for commencement of the Act, ensuring a smooth transition to the new biosecurity framework.

The recent national focus on imported red fire ants, which have the potential to do irreparable harm to our environment, agricultural sector and way of life are a powerful reminder of how important strong biosecurity laws and management practices are.” 

If you deal with biosecurity risks, there may be changes that impact you and your arrangements. For more information about the legislation and biosecurity threats and responses in the ACT, visit the ACT Environment website.

For information on current outbreaks and what do in the event of an outbreak, visit the Australian Government Outbreak website.