Release of the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity review: draft report

The draft report of the independent review of Australia’s biosecurity arrangements, including the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity (the IGAB), has been released for public comment. The review was announced by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP, on 31 March 2016.

The review is being led by a three-person panel comprising Dr Wendy Craik AM (Chair), Mr David Palmer and Dr Richard Sheldrake AM, supported by Commonwealth, state and territory governments.

“Australia’s biosecurity system underpins international market access for Australia’s agricultural exports, it underpins our valuable tourism industry, and it helps to protect human health, social amenity, and our biodiverse natural environments,“ Dr Craik said.

“Our national biosecurity system has served Australia well in protecting us from many animal, plant and environmental pests and diseases found elsewhere in the world. However, our biosecurity system faces many current and emerging challenges,” she said.

The review has highlighted that declining government resources, increased global trade and travel, increased agricultural expansion and intensification, increased urbanisation close to farmlands, and other factors such climate change, will all continue to place significant pressure on the system.

The review has considered the capacity of the national biosecurity system to manage these biosecurity risks and the role of a future agreement between Australian governments in realising a stronger national system.

“The draft report proposes 40 recommendations aimed at strengthening the national biosecurity system over the next five-year period. Implementation of these recommendations will require strong and collective leadership by governments, working in partnership with industry and a range of other parties,” Dr Craik said.

The panel is seeking constructive feedback on its proposals, ideas and requests for feedback in the draft report as it seeks to finalise the work of the review.

Submissions on the draft report are due by 5pm AEDT Monday 27 February 2017. Further information on making a submission is detailed in the draft report, available on the department’s website at

The draft report follows the release of a Discussion Paper in May 2016, and consultation across the country between May and August 2016. The review panel heard a broad range of views and perspectives, and gathered information, from a wide range of system participants including governments, peak industry and community bodies, researchers, businesses and individuals. The panel has drawn heavily from the views and information provided for its draft report.

More than 65 submissions were received in response to the Discussion Paper and all were considered in developing the draft report. It is intended that a Final Report will be provided to Australian agriculture ministers in May 2017.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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