Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007

Page last updated: Thursday, 16 June 2022 - 12:46pm

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.

What the BAM Act does

The BAM Act  and associated regulations were enacted on 1 May 2013.

The new BAM Act takes the place of 16 older Acts and 27 sets of regulations with one Act and 11 sets of regulations and enhances protection of the state’s $10 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 cooperation between government, landholders, industry and the community.The main purposes of the BAM Act and its regulations are to:

  • Prevent new pests, weeds and diseases from entering Western Australia
  • Manage the impact and spread of those pests already present in the state
  • Safely manage the use of agricultural and veterinary chemicals
  • Facilitate standards for safe and quality agricultural products.

Who is affected

Agricultural biosecurity may appear to be the focus of the biosecurity provisions of the BAM Act, but it is impractical today to consider agriculture in isolation. This is why the BAM Act is designed to facilitate cooperation between government agencies, as well as with interested groups ranging from primary producers to the general public. The BAM Act extends to allow for the protection of industries such as forestry and aquaculture.

Major stakeholders with interests affected by BAM Act include:

  • rural landholders and managers
  • local and state government authorities
  • freight carriers
  • public transport carriers and individual travellers
  • importers (commercial and private)
  • stock and grain producers
  • people who keep and trade declared pests
  • beekeepers
  • nursery/garden businesses
  • pastoralists
  • stock feeders
  • fertiliser manufacturers
  • veterinarians

Thorough consultation was undertaken with stakeholders during the drafting of the Act and regulations.

Under the BAM Act  the guidelines for biosecurity extend from border to post-border. Penalties can be issued by Quarantine WA to persons who contravene the regulations regarding importing potentially harmful organisms or carriers of such organisms. Not only does the BAM Act  regulate interstate imports, the BAM Act  also regulates interstate exports by way of quality assurance programs.

Industry and community involvement

The involvement of the whole community has also been facilitated under the BAM Act. In both pastoral and agricultural areas, groups who are tackling established declared pests that impact on the public as well as private interests may now be formally recognised by the Minister.

Under the BAM Act, the State raises a Declared Pest Rate from landholders in specific areas, and matches the funds raised from the rate dollar-for-dollar. The combined funds are made available to these 'Recognised Biosecurity Groups' who provide support to landholders to manage widespread and established declared pests.

Industry is also able to take an active role in managing biosecurity issues through Industry Funding Schemes, which are currently in place for the grains/seed/hay, sheep/goats and cattle industries.

Biosecurity Council

The BAM Act  also establishes the Biosecurity Council, which is an advisory panel comprising specialists with relevant expertise. The role of the Biosecurity Council is to provide advice to the Minister for Agriculture and Food and the Director General of  the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.