Biosecurity obligations & programs

Queensland's Biosecurity Act 2014 commenced on 1 July 2016. The Act imposes an overarching general biosecurity obligation on each person to manage biosecurity risks in their control, and prevent biosecurity events from occurring. This preventative approach relies on everybody adopting a duty of care and implementing measures to prevent or minimise biosecurity risks.

Prohibited & restricted matter

Under the Biosecurity Act, pest plants and animals have been divided into prohibited and restricted matters:

  • prohibited matter is a pest plant or animal that is not known to occur in Queensland
  • restricted matter is a pest plant or animal that has been found in Queensland and specific actions are required to limit the impact of these pests by reducing, controlling or containing them.

To assist in reducing the risk of pest plants and animals damaging the economy, environment and impacting our community, the Queensland Government has defined seven categories for restricted pest plants and animals.

Biosecurity risk mitigation – responsibilities & obligation

Under the Act, individuals and organisations have been given a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) to take steps to mitigate the risk.

Our GBO means that everyone is responsible for managing the risk when they deal with a pest or something that could carry a pest (biosecurity risks). You are not expected to know about all types of pest plants and animals; however, you are expected to know about pest plants and animals that you could potentially come across as part of your day-to-day activities.

For these pests, individuals and organisations conducting activities that pose a biosecurity risk must:

  • take all reasonable and practical steps to prevent or minimise each biosecurity risk
  • minimise the likelihood of causing a ‘biosecurity event’, and limit the consequences if such an event is caused
  • prevent or minimise the harmful effects a risk could have, and do not do anything that might make any harmful effects worse.

Gold Coast Biosecurity Management Plan 2019–2024

The Gold Coast Biosecurity Management Plan 2019–2024 is a statutory requirement of the Act. It highlights our commitment to partnering with stakeholders to reinforce a collaborative approach and recognition that biosecurity is everybody's responsibility.

The Plan used a risk management-based approach to prioritise pest plants and animals that occur or are likely to occur within the city. Priorities are based on information gathered from the Queensland Herbarium records, Biosecurity Queensland, pest mapping data and internal records.

Our risk assessment considered the following:

  • likelihood of entry and establishment in the region
  • impact of existing or potential threats to the region
  • feasibility of managing the invasive plant.

After assessment, each pest plant or animal was assigned a management objective:

  • prevention – pest species does not occur locally, actions taken to prevent their introduction and establishment.
  • eradication – pest species is just starting to establish in the region, actions taken to eradicate it from the city
  • containment – pest species actions taken to contain and delaying further spread
  • asset protection – pest species is widespread and can reinfest areas, actions taken to minimise the impacts of the pest species
  • advice and support – species not currently listed in legislation but has impacts and could become a significant pest in the future.

Download our Gold Coast Biosecurity Management Plan 2019–2024(PDF, 10MB)

Biosecurity programs

Council of the City of Gold Coast resolved at its 831st meeting on 23 May 2023 to authorise the following programs:

  1. Council of the City of Gold Coast Surveillance Program for Invasive Plants and Animals 2023–2024(PDF, 325KB)
  2. Council of the City of Gold Coast Prevention and Control Program for Invasive Plants and Animals 2023–2024(PDF, 358KB).

The programs will commence on 1 July 2023 and be in effect until midnight 30 June 2024. Each program will meet its objectives through engagement and compliance activities that follow the priorities listed in the Gold Coast Biosecurity Management Plan 2019–2024 (the Plan), responding to biosecurity risks both proactively and reactively.

Surveillance program for invasive biosecurity matter

The biosecurity matter to which the program relates is all Invasive Biosecurity Matter as defined in section 48(1) of the Act.

Program's purpose:

  • Confirm the absence, presence, or extent of plants and animals in the city which are invasive biosecurity matter.
  • Monitor compliance with the Act in relation to plants and animals which are invasive biosecurity matter.

Prevention and control program for invasive biosecurity matter

The biosecurity matter to which the program relates includes only the plants and animals which are invasive biosecurity matter that are listed in appendix one.

Program's purpose:

  • Prevent the entry, establishment or spread of plants and animals which are invasive biosecurity matter listed in appendix one in areas where they pose a significant biosecurity risk.
  • Manage, reduce and eradicate plants and animals which are invasive biosecurity matter listed in appendix one in areas where the biosecurity matter poses a significant biosecurity risk.

Key activities being delivered through the program’s included, but not limited to:

  • Surveillance activities to check for the absence, presence, or extent of the invasive plants and animals.
  • Aerial survey using remote controlled unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or piloted aircraft.
  • Entering and inspecting properties previously with or adjacent to infestations of invasive plants and animals, and properties where there is a reasonable risk that invasive plants and animals listed in appendix one may exist.
  • Inspecting businesses, groups or individuals who are actively trading, giving away, selling or in any other way distributing plants.

Copies of the programs are available for inspection at customer service centres.

More information

Information on this page has been sourced from the Queensland Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Biosecurity.