Biosecurity is the protection of our economy, the environment, social amenity and human health from the negative impacts of pests, weeds and diseases. Biosecurity preserves and enhances the unique environment, vibrant economy and lifestyle standards that are highly valued by our community. Biosecurity helps:
- maintain market access
- maintain industry profitability (especially our primary industries)
- preserve our existing social amenity for the enjoyment of future generations
- preserve our environmental assets and services
- maintain our all-important food security.
The Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act
Western Australia’s defences against potentially devastating pests and diseases were strengthened with the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007 (BAM Act) coming into effect on 1 May 2013.
The new BAM Act takes the place of 16 older Acts and 27 sets of regulations with one Act and nine sets of regulations and enhances protection of the state’s $6 billion agriculture and food sector and the environment.
The BAM Act modernises the law and removes inconsistencies between previous legislation to better serve business and the community. It will also lead to greater co-operation between government, landholders, industry and the community.
The BAM Act enables the Minister to recognise groups as Recognised Biosecurity Groups (RBGs) for the purpose of controlling declared pests at a landscape scale across tenure. RBGs provide a mechanism to enable landholders and managers to develop a coordinated approach to control and manage declared pests in their area.
The work of the RBGs will complement industry funded schemes (IFS) to combat pest plants, animals and diseases adversely affecting the profitability of agriculture with funds implemented for the cattle, sheep and goats, and grains industries.
The BAM Act has provided the foundation for updating the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia's (DAFWA) pre and post border biosecurity policies, procedures and systems. DAFWA's website publishes information to support the control and management of declared pests and other organisms via the Western Australian Organism List (WAOL) launched on 1 May 2013. It also contains information on how to apply for an import permit.
The Biosecurity Council of Western Australia was established under the BAM Act as a specialist advisory group for DAFWA and its Minister on the requirements of a comprehensive biosecurity system for the state, and strategic biosecurity policy.
More information on the consultation arrangements for the development of the regulations under the BAM Act is available.