The following is an excerpt from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources relating to thew Biosecurity Act 2015.

From 16 June 2016 the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will be working under the Biosecurity Act 2015. At a  but 108 years of quarantine operations cannot be erased overnight.

The Biosecurity Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions Act 2015 will support the smooth transition to the new laws. Some aspects of the biosecurity legislation that commence on 16 June 2016 will do so under transitional arrangements to enable the department and our industry clients to adjust incrementally to the new operating environment.

Preparing our clients and stakeholders

We know that it is vital to engage with and support our clients and stakeholders to prepare for commencement of the new laws. We have developed a series of audience specific pages that outline the key changes that clients and stakeholders can expect from the introduction of the biosecurity legislation.

The Biosecurity Act explained for specific audiences

Preparing our information platforms and systems

We are currently undertaking an extensive body of work to prepare for commencement which includes:

  • training and preparing our staff
  • updating website content and client service systems
  • identifying and adjusting products including forms and communication materials
  • developing guidance and documentation.

While every effort is being made to update our information platforms to reflect the new legal framework, there may still be references to the Quarantine Act 1908 that require more time to update as part of broader systems reform – like the Vessels Management System that will remain untouched until the Maritime Arrivals and Reporting System is launched later in 2016.

Where you see outdated references to the Quarantine Act on our forms, systems or website, you can report it to the department online or by phoning 1800 040 629.

Changes in the way we interact with you

One of the more noticeable changes that clients can expect from us on 16 June 2016 is the way we communicate and interact with you. The Biosecurity Act introduces a range of new legal concepts and terminology. We will still be at the border managing the biosecurity risks of travellers, international mail, cargo, vessels and aircraft. From the outside our regulatory work will largely look the same, but we will be using new language and amended processes to undertake our important task of managing Australia’s biosecurity system.

On an operational level you can expect to notice very few changes to the way your usually go about things, but if you require assistance to understand the implications of the new legislation, please get in touch with me on 1300 651 888 or via alex@maglog.com.au, or call the department on 1800 040 629.  There is also an interactive learning package about the Biosecurity Act you can undertake online.