Biosecurity and Local Government

Local Governments play a significant role in post border biosecurity in Western Australia, ranging 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).

WALGA Biosecurity Policy Position

  1. Local Government believes that State Government has responsibility for the following parts of a biosecurity system:
    • Pre-border and border biosecurity measures and contingency funds to deal with new pest outbreaks;
    • Assistance to the private sector for newly established, industry-specific pests
    • Assistance to land managers for newly established pests (where the incursion has occurred despite the land owner’s best biosecurity management effort);
    • Establishment of a biosecurity network and regional cooperative arrangements;
    • Enforcement of regulations;
    • Compliance with regulations on State Government managed land;
    • Specific research projects and specialised diagnostic services; and
    • Enhancement of barrier fences.
  2. Local Government are not supportive of Recognised Biosecurity Groups (RBGs).
  3. Local Government calls on the State Government to either reinstate the Agriculture Protection Board or develop a model similar to the NSW Local Land Services Act 2013 approach, and in consideration of either model that:
    • There are State Government approved strategic and operational plans which can be understood by landowners and other stakeholders, including Local Governments;
    • There is direct contact with Local Governments, State Government agencies and departments, and major industry groups;
    • That either model is resourced by State Government to undertake the required activities.
    • That either model be funded under the current funding arrangements as outlined in the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007; and
    • That it assists in the delivery of national, state and local priority species management.
  4. That as matter of priority, the Government undertake a review of the operation and effectiveness of the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007 and its regulations.
WALGA's paper Post border biosecurity reform: Recommendations to the State Government advocates:
  • options for improved policy settings, governance and regulation;
  • program initiatives;
  • amendments to the BAM Act; and
  • a further Auditor General's review of post border biosecurity management in Western Australia.

Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity Review

The Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity (IGAB) is an agreement between the Commonwealth, state and territory governments (except Tasmania) to strengthen the biosecurity system.  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.

An independent review of the national biosecurity system and the IGAB was undertaken in 2016-17.  Australian Agriculture Ministers responded to the  IGAB Review Final Report in November 2018.

WALGA submissions to the review:
IGAB review Discussion Paper - WALGA submission
IGAB Review Draft Report - WALGA submission

Biosecurity Legislation

Western Australia
Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007 (BAM Act)
Bioscurity and Agriculture Management Regulations 2013
Biosecurity and Agriculture Management (Agriculture Standards) Regulations 2013
Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Industry Funding Scheme (Grains) Regulations 2010
Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Industry Funding Scheme (Sheep and Goats) Regulations 2010
Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Industry Funding Scheme (Cattle) Regulations 2010
Biosecurity and Agriculture Management (Quality Assurance and Accreditation) Regulations 2013
Biosecurity and Agriculture Management (Identification and Movement of Stock and Apiaries) Regulations 2013
Biosecurity and Agriculture Management (Infringement Notices) Regulations 2013
Biosecurity and Agriculture Management (Declared Pest Account) Regulations 2014


Commonwealth of Australia
Biosecurity Act 2015

Additional resources

Western Australian Organism List (WAOL)