Embracing Our General Biosecurity Duty: Protect Tasmania’s Unique Environment

19 January 2024

With the summer holiday season here so many of us will be travelling throughout our beautiful state or returning home from an interstate trip but how many of us remember our General Biosecurity Duty? In March 2021, the state government introduced a legal obligation known as the General Biosecurity Duty (GBD).

This duty places a collective responsibility on the government, industry and the community to collaborate in upholding a robust biosecurity system. The GBD reinforces the notion that every individual has a crucial role to play in shielding Tasmania’s distinctive environment and primary industries from the threat of pests, diseases and weeds.

Tasmania, renowned for having some of the world’s strictest biosecurity laws, is calling on its residents and visitors to be vigilant and proactive in safeguarding the state’s primary industries, economy and environment. There are four simple yet effective actions that individuals can take;

Check Your Bags when entering or returning to Tasmania. Ensuring that no restricted items are inadvertently introduced helps prevent the need for costly controls and protects the community from the financial burdens associated with lost access to domestic and international export markets.

Come In Clean. Dirt or contaminants such as seeds can pose biosecurity risks, lingering on shoes, caravans, trailers, farming equipment or recreational gear. Thoroughly cleaning clothes, gear and equipment before travelling to Tasmania is a small but powerful act that contributes to the overall protection of the state.

Stay On The Path is another vital message. Visitors exploring our primary production properties and facilities must seek permission when entering, respecting biosecurity protocols and plans of owners and property managers. Whether wandering through vineyards, orchards or scenic parks and reserves, sticking to designated paths and tracks helps minimise the risk of introducing pests, diseases or weeds to these areas.

The final piece of advice is to report anything unusual. Residents and visitors alike are encouraged to be vigilant and promptly report anything out of the ordinary that may pose a biosecurity risk. Whether it’s a sick farm animal, an unfamiliar insect, a plant disease or an invasive weed or animal, reporting these observations to Biosecurity Tasmania is crucial. Quick action including noting the location, taking a photo, securing the insect or isolating a sick animal when safe to do so, ensures a rapid response to potential biosecurity threats.

By embracing our General Biosecurity Duty, Tasmania looks towards a future where shared responsibility and collective action become the norm, fostering a resilient and protected environment for generations to come.

To report any suspected biosecurity issues you can call Biosecurity Tasmania on (03) 6165 3777 or email Biosecurity.Tasmania@nre.tas.gov.au