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Introducing the General Biosecurity Duty from 31 March 2021


02 Mar 2021

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Following extensive industry and community consultation, the Biosecurity Act 2019 (the Act) introduces a new legal obligation in Tasmania known as the General Biosecurity Duty, or GBD.

The General Biosecurity Duty is expected to come into effect on 31 March 2021.

The Act emphasises the importance of shared responsibilities and the need for government, industry and the community to work together to maintain a strong biosecurity system.

The GBD will operate as a statutory “duty of care” for everyone (government, industry and the community) in respect to biosecurity.

This will mean that all Tasmanians will have a duty to take all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent, eliminate, or minimise biosecurity risks when dealing with any biological matter or carrier, if they ought to know that there may be a biosecurity risk.  The GBD also applies to visitors to Tasmania and to individuals and businesses who import biological material or equipment into Tasmania.

This does not mean that you need to be a biosecurity expert, however you do need to know about the biosecurity risks that apply to your specific industry, business, work environment or pastimes - and how to manage and minimise those risks to the best of your ability.  For many biosecurity stakeholders, the introduction of the GBD will not change the way they go about their daily business or recreational activities.

The GBD reinforces that everyone has a role to play in protecting our unique environment and primary industries against biosecurity risks.

Understanding and meeting your GBD responsibilities will help protect your business, our primary industries, the environment and our way of life here in Tasmania.

Biosecurity Tasmania has developed a range of helpful resources to assist you to understand the GBD, to identify your GBD responsibilities to help keep Tasmania biosecurity safe.

You can find more information on the website: www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/GBD

We all have a General Biosecurity Duty to help protect Tasmania from pests, weeds and diseases.