Analysis of Australia's New Biosecurity Legislation

Durant S and Faunce TA Analysis of Australia’s New Biosecurity Legislation (2018) 25 (3) JLM 647-654

8 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2018

See all articles by Sam Durant

Sam Durant

Australian National University (ANU)

Thomas Alured Faunce

Australian National University

Date Written: August 30, 2018

Abstract

On 16 June 2016 the Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cth) came into force. This legislation replaced the Quarantine Act 1908 (Cth) which had regulated biosecurity in Australia for over a century. Impetus for the change arose from a number of reviews (the Nairn Report and later Beale Review) into Australia’s biosecurity system. These identified systemic flaws that were causing the country to be vulnerable to incursions of foreign pests and diseases through the administration of an archaic regulatory regime. The Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cth) includes new terminology, increased powers for the regulator and additional requirements for industry. The responsible agency, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR), has stated that the new biosecurity laws are designed to be user-friendly, to be flexible and responsive to changes in technology and future challenges, to remove cluttered and confusing sections of the Quarantine Act 1908 (Cth) and to achieve the difficult balance of making biosecurity regulation risk-based and equipping the regulator with strong enforcement powers whilst while also being economically prudent and supportive of increasing Australian trade and market access. This article column analyses such claims, including the short, and long term implications of providing biosecurity officers with two sets of authorising legislative powers and sharing the responsibility of biosecurity emergencies with the Department of Health.

Note: This article was first published by Thomson Reuters in the Journal of Law and Medicine and should be cited as ‘Durant S and Faunce TA, Analysis of Australia's New Biosecurity Legislation, 2018, 25, JLM, 647’.

This publication is copyright. Other than for the purposes of and subject to the conditions prescribed under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), no part of it may in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, microcopying, photocopying, recording or otherwise) be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted without prior written permission. Enquiries should be addressed to Thomson Reuters (Professional) Australia Limited. PO Box 3502, Rozelle NSW 2039.

Keywords: Biosecurity, Quarantine, Risk Assessment, Pandemic, Disease Prevention

JEL Classification: I18, K32

Suggested Citation

Durant, Sam and Faunce, Thomas Alured, Analysis of Australia's New Biosecurity Legislation (August 30, 2018). Durant S and Faunce TA Analysis of Australia’s New Biosecurity Legislation (2018) 25 (3) JLM 647-654. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3241819

Sam Durant

Australian National University (ANU) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

Thomas Alured Faunce (Contact Author)

Australian National University ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia
61 2 61253563 (Phone)

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