Environmental protection under the Commonwealth Biosecurity Act

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Environment Review, 2017, (2017) 32, (7), pp. 170-174
Issue Date:
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For over 100 years, biosecurity in Australia was regulated in accordance with the Quarantine Act 1908 (Cth). During its lifetime, the Quarantine Act underwent numerous reviews, including the Nairn Review in 1996 and the Beale Review in 2008, both of which identified the need for more focus on preventing the entry, establishment and spread of pests and diseases of the natural environment. Seven years after the Beale Review recommended a legislative overhaul the Quarantine Act was replaced by the Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cth). This new legislation is vitally important for nature conservation. The Biosecurity Act has many strengths. It continues; however, these are offset, to some extent, by weaknesses that are likely to perpetuate the higher priority accorded to protecting economic assets and human health, and the discretionary nature of much of the decision-making and the lack of requirement to apply the precautionary approach.
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