Understanding the Biosecurity Act
  • Last updated:
  • 06 Apr 2021

For more information on the Biosecurity Act 2014 visit the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website.

Key terms explained

The term biosecurity refers to measures or procedures that are taken to control and manage weeds, pest animals, pest fish, diseases, viruses and parasites. Taking biosecurity action helps to protect our environment, industries and community from harmful invasive species.

The Act provides a cohesive legislative framework for governments, industries and communities to respond to pest species in Queensland.

The Biosecurity Act 2014 commenced on 1 July 2016 and replaced many separate pieces of legislation previously used to manage invasive species.

A key principle of the Act is shared responsibility for managing biosecurity risks.

Under the Biosecurity Act councils are required to develop a biosecurity plan.

The Sunshine Coast Local Government Area Biosecurity Plan 2017 establishes a framework to support a cooperative and coordinated management approach that focuses available resources at the highest risk invasive plants and animals in order to deliver the most effective outcomes.

The Plan was developed in collaboration with various sectors. This included Traditional Owners, non-for profit community groups, various government organisations and industry representatives involved in invasive species management.

Under the Biosecurity Act all Queenslanders have a general biosecurity obligation. This means we are all responsible for managing the invasive plants and animals under our control. For example managing a weed species on your property.

By sharing the responsibility of invasive species management we are collectively contributing to protecting our Sunshine Coast values.

Invasive species are weeds, pest animals, pest fish, diseases, viruses and parasites that are occurring beyond their normal distribution. Invasive species can be introduced and spread to new areas both by accident and on purpose but, either way, the impacts can be devastating on the environment, industry and community.

Not all invasive species found in our local government area are identified as 'restricted' under the Biosecurity Act. These non-restricted species are generally widespread in Queensland making them difficult to control.

Through our Biosecurity planning all invasive species found in in the Sunshine Coast local government area were assessed to determine those that pose the greatest threat to our region.

Some species, despite not being identified in the Act as 'restricted', were found to pose significant local threats to our natural areas, agriculture and production, human health and well-being. In our Biosecurity Plan these species are identified as 'Locally significant' species.

Some 'locally significant' species included as Priority invasive plants and animals (PDF, 101KB) (right-hand column).

View All other locally significant invasive plants and animals (PDF, 129KB) found in our region.

Our Biosecurity Plan identifies the priority species for our local government area. These are the species that will be targeted through invasive animal and plant control actions. 

Managing invasive species is challenging and requires a lot or resources. Targeting certain 'priority' species maximises the effectiveness of invasive species control activities.

The priority species for our region were determined through a risk assessment of the 287 invasive plants and animals known to occur in the Sunshine Coast local government area.

The risk assessment considered factors such as the potential impacts of the invasive species as well as the likelihood of further spread if left unmanaged.

View the full list of Priority invasive plants and animals (PDF, 101KB).

Under the Biosecurity Act, the weeds, pest animals, pest fish, diseases, viruses and parasites that are not known to occur in Queensland are known as 'prohibited species'.  If they make it into Queensland they could seriously impact our environment, human health, social amenity and economy.

It is the responsibility of all Queenslanders and our visitors to be aware of, and take steps to prevent, prohibited species from entering Queensland.  

All sightings of prohibited species must be reported to Biosecurity Queensland within 24 hours on 13 25 23.

For more information visit Biosecurity Queensland's Prohibited invasive animals or Prohibited invasive plants web pages.

Under the Biosecurity Act, the weeds, pest animals, pest fish, diseases, viruses and parasites that are known to occur in Queensland are identified as 'restricted invasive species'.

Their further spread has the potential to significantly impact our environment, human health, social amenity and economy.

It is everyone’s responsibility to manage restricted species. Specific actions are required to limit the spread and impact of this matter by reducing, controlling or containing them.

For more information visit the Biosecurity Queensland's Restricted invasive animals or Restricted invasive plants web pages.