Have your say on biosecurity risk management

IF you want to have your say on how biosecurity risks are managed in NSW, you better get in quick.

Landowner, industry and the wider community have until Friday next week to provide their input, after the NSW Parliament last year passed the lengthy and complex Biosecurity Act 2015.

Biosecurity is best described as the protection of the economy, environment and community from the negative impact of animal and plant pests and diseases, weeds and contaminants.

During the parliamentary debate, Shadow Minister for Primary Industries Mick Veitch made clear that the Government had a considerable responsibility to consult the community and provide guidance on how various aspects of the new Act would work in practice.

The introduction of a 'general biosecurity duty' represents a major shift, and it places important responsibilities on a person who deals with or knows about a biosecurity risk to take action or inform authorities about such a risk.

The implementation of the biosecurity regulations could have wide-ranging impacts across the community, the environment and industry in NSW.

"Biosecurity is an important responsibility that we all share, however there are significant changes proposed as to how that responsibility is now to be carried out - and it affects each and every person in this State," Mr Veitch said.

"It is vital that the Government reach out widely into the community and provide as much information as possible so that people understand their role and responsibilities in terms of biosecurity in NSW.

"This initial consultation phase is an important step, and I would encourage everyone to acquaint themselves with the Government's proposals and give their feedback as to how the new biosecurity obligations will operate in day-to-day living and working environments.

"It is incumbent on the Minister to ensure thorough and clear education is provided to the community about the Government's plans for implementing the Biosecurity Act 2015.

"The lack of detail in the Government's legislation must be clarified in the way these regulations are developed, communicated and implemented."

For more information and to make a submission by February 12, visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/biosecurityact

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