Join the front line to protect our plants, animals and way of life.
Do you want to make a valuable contribution to Australia’s agricultural industries and help protect our unique environment?
As a biosecurity officer, you can make a difference and help prevent damaging pests and diseases from crossing our border.
Many of these threats could potentially impact Australia’s $74 billion agricultural industries and halt global trade. Biosecurity officers operate on the front line to identify biosecurity risks and help prevent invasive pests and diseases entering the country.
When you join us, you’ll have training and coaching that prepares you to begin a career that makes a difference.
What I do here at the port helps protect Australia's agricultural industries."
Why biosecurity is important
Strengthening our national biosecurity system means better protection for Australia’s people, our environment and economy against the biosecurity threats of today and tomorrow.
Our priority is to lower biosecurity risks to Australia and assist industry to accelerate towards a $100 billion agricultural sector by 2030.
Biosecurity officers play a vital role in managing these risks at the border to keep our country and environment safe.
Biosecurity officers play an important role in supporting Australia’s import and export systems. As a biosecurity officer you help to safeguard Australia from the introduction of unwanted pests and diseases.
In the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, biosecurity officers ensure organisations meet their legal obligations. Officers are an integral part of the department and contribute to the department’s purpose of enhancing Australia’s agriculture, unique environment and heritage and water resources. Biosecurity is critical to maintaining market access for exports, maintaining our high emergency response standards, protecting Australia's natural resources, and assisting in the development of strong agricultural industries.
The department’s Biosecurity Operations Division takes a regulatory approach by implementing effective border controls. The division has defined pathways including cargo, mail, conveyances (such as vessels and aircraft) and travellers. Border controls include, but are not limited to, inspection, assessment, animal husbandry services and physical contact centres.
There are a variety of biosecurity officer roles which are all essential to protecting Australia against biosecurity threats.
Our biosecurity officers assess import documents to ensure imported goods meet the department’s regulatory requirements. Officers assess importers’ documentary evidence. Importers bring in a range of commodities including food, plants, and live animals, just to name a few.
Biosecurity officers in our contact centres respond to a diverse range of enquiries from the public and from industry groups. These officers are also responsible for addressing industry requests to have goods inspected and to schedule inspections.
In the cargo pathway, biosecurity officers inspect imported goods and undertake surveillance and assurance activities. They work at airports, seaports, mail centres, in-office locations and other premises across Australia and offshore territories. These officers inspect a variety of commodities each day. This includes everything from wooden products, air and sea containers, imported foods, machinery, used vehicles, fresh produce, through to personal items. Officers may also be required to inspect ballast water and bulk holds on arriving vessels.
In the traveller and mail pathways, biosecurity officers process travellers and crew arriving by air and sea. These officers also inspect incoming mail and air cargo shipments utilising detector dogs, x-rays and manual inspections.
In the Post Entry Quarantine facility, biosecurity officers undertake assessment, inspection and post-entry quarantine for animals and plants including live birds and hatching eggs, plants, bees, cats, dogs, horses and ruminants. These officers support and educate importers in meeting legislative requirements and reducing biosecurity risks associated with live animal imports.
As a biosecurity officer working for our department, you will be given extensive classroom and in-field training. You’ll learn about interpreting and applying legislation to your work, understanding and using departmental systems and electronic decision support tools, assessing commercial and other types of documentation, appropriate inspection techniques, and important behavioural attributes such as Integrity and Work Health and Safety.
The work of a biosecurity officer is a critical part of the Australian Government's efforts to minimise, respond to and recover from pests and diseases that threaten Australia’s economy and environment. The regulatory decisions our biosecurity officers make has a positive impact on the livelihood of Australians and will provide benefits for generations to come.
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Who we are looking for
We want people who care about protecting Australia’s agricultural, fisheries and forestry industries from damaging pests and diseases.
We’re looking for people who are:
- inquisitive and curious
- focussed with a high level of attention to detail
- observant and notice the unusual
- committed to the highest levels of integrity
- professional and people-focused
- keen to learn and be part of an organisation that will help you develop.
What you can expect
As a biosecurity officer, you’ll enjoy:
- a challenging and rewarding career, with variety and a real sense of responsibility
- the opportunity to grow your career in a large and diverse organisation
- training, development and support to succeed
- the opportunity to make a difference every day.
Our biosecurity officers perform their role in 4 main pathways: cargo, traveller, mail and maritime.
Biosecurity Operations Pathways
Screening, inspection and assurance for international aircraft and crew, air and sea passengers at Australia’s international air and sea ports.
Screening, inspection and assurance for international mail at mail gateway facilities in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
Client Contact Group (CCG)
Our first point of contact for clients. Client Contact Group handle enquiries across multiple department divisions, and respond to and process cargo inspection booking requests.
Assessing documents for clients importing goods into Australia. Cargo assessments also provide high-level client support services.
Inspecting goods, vessels, aircraft, animals and animal genetic material, and assessing documents to confirm compliance with biosecurity and export requirements.
Inspecting vessels and assessing documents to confirm compliance with Australia’s biosecurity requirements, including human health and seasonal pests.
Biosecurity officers must successfully complete our Biosecurity Foundation Program (BFP) - a 6-month national induction for new recruits. It combines self-paced online learning, in-person and virtual courses, and on-the job training.
The program includes:
- an essentials suite and other prescribed departmental courses
- BFP core training which includes technical and corporate elements
- technical training with a mix of formal and on-the-job components
- group and individual assessments.
You will be issued a trainee handbook which will be used as an on-the-job coaching and evidence gathering tool forming part of your assessment.
I am doing my part to protect the community.
Our culture and values
We are committed to building and valuing a diverse workforce that works together.
We foster inclusiveness and embrace the diversity of our people. We strive to ensure all our staff feel included and can bring their authentic selves to work.
We are a part of the Australian Public Service (APS). This means our staff must adhere to APS values. These are:
- Committed to service
Our Core 4 values
We support the APS values through ‘Our Core 4’ values:
- Working together
These values help create a shared understanding of how we achieve our purpose, objectives and priorities, and what you can expect when you engage with us. They are underpinned by principles of safety and integrity.
If you can see yourself working as a biosecurity officer and want to join our team, sign up to the Job Alert function on our current job vacancies page to receive notification of job vacancies.