Biosecurity Act

On 1 July 2017, the Biosecurity Act 2015 replaced the Noxious Weed Act which provided controls and powers to manage weeds in NSW. The Biosecurity Act reforms aim to provide a more streamlined and clear framework to help ensure the protection of the economy, environment and community from the negative impacts of pests, diseases and weeds.

The Biosecurity Act aims to change the way weeds are managed with a key focus on sharing the responsibility and implementing the concept of risk. These changes are to help ensure the responsibilities of weed management are equally shared regardless of whether it is public or private land and that investment and responses to weeds is appropriate to the risk. AlburyCity will be working closely with landholders, industry and the community to ensure we uphold Biosecurity in our area.

The key objectives under the Biosecurity Act is to manage the risks of weeds by

  • preventing their entry into NSW
  • quickly finding, containing and eradicating new entries and
  • effectively minimising the impacts of the weeds that cannot be eradicated through robust management arrangements.

AlburyCity as the Local Control Authority is responsible for enforcing the Biosecurity Act which involves conducting weed inspections on public and private property; inspecting and controlling weeds in high risk pathways and sites; providing education to the community; and undertaking compliance actions under the Act.

Some of the terms and definitions that will be encountered within the new Biosecurity legislation include:

  • General Biosecurity Duty - Any person who deals with any plant, who knows (or ought to know) of any biosecurity risk, has a duty to ensure the risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised, so far as is reasonably practicable. You can read more about what your duties involve on the General Biosecurity Fact Sheet provided by NSW DPI.
  • Authorised Officer – An appointed officer that has the power to investigate, monitor and enforce compliance under the Biosecurity Act. All Authorised Officers have completed online and face to face training ran through the Department of Primary Industries.
  • Biosecurity Matter – Can mean any living thing other than a human including plant, animal, disease or contaminant.
  • Prohibited Matter – Prohibited weeds that could have a significant impact on the economy, environment or community of NSW. These weeds are listed under Schedule 2 of the Act and can be found within the Murray Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan.
  • Biosecurity Direction – an Authorised Officer may issue a Biosecurity Direction to a person if the officer reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent, eliminate or minimise a biosecurity risk; to prevent, manage or control a biosecurity impact or to enforce any instrument under the Biosecurity Act 2015.
  • Biosecurity Undertaking - a written undertaking by a person, accepted by an Authorised Officer. It must specify the measures a person has agreed to implement to remedy a contravention, likely contravention, or suspected contravention of the Act and when those measures must be implemented by.

There is more information regarding terms and definitions at the DPI NSW website.