Biosecurity and Local Government

Local Government’s involvement in post border biosecurity can range from being a contact point for concerned community members, having responsibility for developing pest management local laws under the Local Government Act 1995 and as a significant landowner in its own right. Post border biosecurity in Western Australia is managed under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Act 2007 (BAM Act), and regulations, introduced in 2013. Local Government is represented on the Biosecurity Council and is involved in a number of Recognised Biosecurity Groups (RBGs).

Local Government has expressed concerns regarding the current approach to biosecurity. WALGA has been working closely with Local Government, the State Government and other stakeholders to further identify and articulate these issues and possible policy responses.

WALGA released Biosecurity Management: A Local Government Discussion Paper in late 2015 followed by a number biosecurity workshops in February 2016.

Workshop proceedings and presentations can be found here:

 

Biosecurity Position and Recommendations Paper

Based on feedback and further consultation with Local and State Government WALGA has now produced a draft   Biosecurity Position and Recommendations Paper.

The purpose of this document is to:

  • outline WALGA’s existing and recommended future policy position on post border biosecurity
  • summarise the sector's feedback to WALGA that underpins the recommended policy position
  • provide a number of policy initiatives for the State Government to consider either independently or as part of the review of the BAM Act, and
  • provide a number of initiatives considered beneficial to the overall governance and coordination of post border biosecurity under a 'shared responsibility', community based approach.
Local Government is invited to comment on WALGA's recommended draft policy position and the recommendations to the State Government before it is submitted to WALGA's State Council for its consideration. The closing date for comments is Tuesday, 17 January 2017. 

 

Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity Review


The Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity (IGAB) is an agreement between the Commonwealth, state and territory governments (exept Tasmania) to strengthen the biosecurity sytem.  It defines the roles and responsibilities of governments and outlines the priority areas for collaboration to minimise the impact of pests and diseases on Australia's economy.

In late 2015, Australian Agriculture Ministers agreed to iniate a review of the national biosecurity sytem and the underpinning IGAB.  As part of this review a discussion paper was released to help inform discussions on the IGAB Review.  WALGA prepared a submission on this review which can be found here.

Further information on the IGAB Review can be found here.
 

Options for Local Governments to deal with post border biosecurity threats