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

We have introduced the following biosecurity programs to support the Management Plan. These programs will operate for the entire calendar year of 2021.

The key activities undertaken as part of these programs include but are not limited to:

  • surveillance activities related to prohibited and restricted plants and animals. Authorised City officers will conduct visual inspections of identified properties and places. Such properties or places will include:
    • those with, or next to infestations of invasive plants and animals
    • those where there is a reasonable risk that invasive plants and animals may exist.
  • aerial surveys by visual, photographic or electronic means. We may use aircraft or remote-controlled, unmanned aerial vehicles for this type of survey
  • inspecting businesses, groups or individuals who trade, give away, sell or in any other way distribute plants or animals
  • working with the Queensland Government on the reduction or eradication of certain species, including bitou bush and telegraph weed.

For more information, download the above biosecurity programs or visit one of our customer service centres to view a copy.

For enquiries about environmental weeds, pest animals or pest management, contact us.

More information

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