National Biosecurity Committee

The NBC was established in July 2008 to provide strategic leadership in managing national approaches to emerging and ongoing biosecurity policy issues across jurisdictions and sectors, and to provide advice to the then Primary Industries Standing Committee (PISC) and Standing Council on Primary Industries (SCoPI). The NBC takes an overarching, cross-sectoral approach to national biosecurity policy, and works collaboratively to achieve national policy objectives for biosecurity in Australia.

All biosecurity issues, including environmental, animal and plant biosecurity issues, are considered by the NBC, with a view to resolution or for the development of advice to the Agricultural Senior Officals Committee (formerly PISC) and the Agricultural Ministers Forum (formerly SCoPI) as appropriate.

The NBC meets twice yearly in February and August.

For further information contact the NBC Secretariat.

NBC membership

The Secretary of the Department of Agriculture chairs the NBC as a member of the Agricultural Senior Officials Committee. The Australian Government is also represented by the Department of Agriculture's Deputy Secretary, Biosecurity, and a Deputy Secretary from the Department of the Environment (or his/her delegate).

Remaining members are senior representatives from primary industry or environment departments for each state or territory. Jurisdictions may have up to two representatives. 

NBC membership list

NBC priorities

Two of the NBC’s main priorities are the implementation of the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity (IGAB) and the National Foot-and-Mouth Disease Action Plan.

NBC update

The NBC met for the seventeenth time in Canberra on 28 February 2014. The meeting was chaired by Dr Paul Grimes, Secretary – Australian Government Department of Agriculture.

Members considered a wide range of matters, including:

  • future directions for the NBC
  • implementation of the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity (IGAB)
  • an update on the implementation of the National Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) Action Plan, including the progress of the National Livestock Standstill Exercise Program, known as Exercise Odysseus
  • progress in developing national data standards for biosecurity information and mechanisms for electronic data exchange; and
  • the Long-Term Containment Strategy for Exotic Fruit Flies in the Torres Strait;
  • innovative work in the Australian Government Department of Agriculture to provide world-leading biosecurity intelligence and information gathering.

Further information is provided in the NBC 17 communique.

The next meeting of the NBC will be held in August 2014.

NBC communiqués