Biosecurity legislation consultation

A video message from Dr Conall O’Connell, DAFF's Secretary, announcing the biosecurity legislation consultation process.

Transcript

Hello. I’m Conall O’Connell.

As the Secretary for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry I want to ensure the new biosecurity legislation is the best we can make it.

And I’m inviting your input.

Our department touches the lives of everyone in the community.

We directly contribute to improving productivity, competitiveness and sustainability across all of the industries we represent.

We help people and goods move safely in and out of the country, and we manage risks to the environment, animals, plant and human health.

It’s a significant responsibility.

Much of our work is currently conducted under the century-old Quarantine Act.

The Act was written when people and goods travelled to and from Australia by ship, when long-distance communication meant putting pen to paper, and when many diseases, curable today, were fatal.

The world has changed. We need new legislation to tackle the threats and the complex environment we now face.

  • Today, we monitor and manage ever increasing numbers of goods and passenger movements.
  • We work with partners across the country, and the world, to reduce the risk that biosecurity threats will reach Australia's borders.
  • And, of course, we have access to technologies unheard of in 1908 that help us to manage our system.

That’s why the new biosecurity legislation has been drafted.

It’s essential that the new legislation is the best we can make it. It will play a critical role in building and maintaining the wellbeing of Australia, now and into the future.

We need to balance the risk to Australia’s biosecurity with the national benefits that flow from the safe movement of people and goods across the border.

That’s why I encourage you to use this consultation phase and have a say.

Your feedback is important to the development of these vital and historical changes.

I’ll be following the discussion with interest and I look forward to seeing the results of this consultation.

Thank you.