For a run down of the changes to the Biosecurity Act click here.

More funds for Protected Area Estate pest and weed management

The current statewide budget for managing biosecurity matter across State managed land is not sufficient.  For example, the statewide budget for managing giant rats tail grass on unallocated state land is only $21,000*.  Individual producers spend much more than this in one paddock.  Everyone has a duty to contain their biosecurity matter and prevent spread, otherwise neighbouring productivity and natural systems are at risk.
Any government activity to increase Queensland’s protected area estate from 9 per cent to 17 per cent must also provide a realistic annual budget for weed, disease and pest management.

Solution that AgForce advocates:
Any existing and new State-funded land acquisition must also be allocated a perpetual annual budget for bushfire mitigation, invasive weeds and pest animal management and to minimise harbouring any prohibited biosecurity matter. 

* Source: current Qld Govt Parliamentary Committee weed inquiry.

Improving capability, preparedness and awareness

The risk of new biosecurity incursions and the state’s ability to respond remain a major threat to Queensland’s agriculture, communities and ecosystems.  The capacity of Biosecurity Queensland (BQ) needs rebuilding with people and systems*. The Queensland Government committed $10.8 million of the requested $30 million to Queensland Biosecurity Capability Review, however, progress has been extremely slow. Expert skills in biosecurity are acquired over time through practical experience and mentoring.

Further, since introduction of the new Biosecurity Act 2014, the rate of new biosecurity outbreaks across Queensland has diminished public confidence in Queensland’s biosecurity systems.  The concept of a General Biosecurity Obligation is poorly understood across agricultural systems and within the general community.  Biosecurity is everyone’s responsibility, just like public health and safety, but the message is failing to resonate with people.

Current trends in cost-sharing arrangements indicate graziers require an independent source of funds to solve livestock-related biosecurity issues. BQ responded to 43 threats over the 2015-16 period, only two of which were livestock-related, despite graziers being the state’s largest agricultural producers.


Solutions that AgForce advocates:
  • Implement the Queensland Biosecurity Capability Review recommendations, and set aside $5 million to develop and deliver the actions plans to support the Biosecurity Strategy 2017 – 2022.
  • Prioritise building expertise, networks and regional capacity to respond to biosecurity incidents. Commence departmental succession plans and cadetships for biosecurity surveillance, awareness and research expertise.
  • Raise everyone’s awareness about biosecurity and their obligations to minimise weed, pest and disease spread.
  • Invest in the regional biosecurity networks for weed, disease and pest management, and raise awareness of AgVet chemical training requirements, by upskilling produce agencies, pesticide outlets, and land management staff in biosecurity surveillance and methods for controlling biosecurity matter.
  • Share, practical community mapping tools within the BIMS (Biosecurity Information Management System) to detect, map and monitor new and existing biosecurity incursions.
  • Retain strong linkages to national biosecurity preparedness, such as AustVetPan, PlantPlan and Livestock Biosecurity Network.
  • Graziers require an independent source of funds to solve broadacre livestock-related biosecurity issues - an industry-controlled fund would see our real issues addressed, regardless of prevailing government priorities.
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