2015-33 – Design and Change Branch – Biosecurity Act 2015

​​20 July 2015


The Biosecurity Bill 2014 and supporting legislation received royal assent from the Governor-General on 16 June 2015 and has now become the Biosecurity Act 2015.

Key Points

  • The new Biosecurity Act will commence on 16 June 2016, 12 months after royal assent.
  • The 12 month delay is to ensure that staff, stakeholders and clients understand their rights and responsibilities under the new Biosecurity Act and there is a smooth transition to the new regulatory arrangements.
  • Until commencement of the new legislation, the Quarantine Act 1908 remains the primary piece of biosecurity legislation in Australia. The Biosecurity Act 2015 will then replace the Quarantine Act 1908.
  • As with the Quarantine Act, the Biosecurity Act will be co-administered by the Ministers responsible for Agriculture and Health.
  • The implementation of the Biosecurity Act is a large body of work for the department and its success is critical to a large number of clients and stakeholders.
  • The department is acutely aware that client and stakeholder understanding of how the department will implement the new regulatory framework is essential to ensuring that all clients and stakeholders are able to comply with the Biosecurity Act from the start.
  • The department is consulting on the details of the delegated legislation and supporting administrative policies in preparation for publishing the draft regulations on the department’s website for public consideration. This is expected to happen in the coming months.


The legislation consists of;

  • the Biosecurity Act 2015

and four related Acts which will help to manage the transition between the Quarantine Act 1908 and the Biosecurity Act 2015 namely;

  • Biosecurity (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Act 2015
  • Quarantine Charges (Imposition-General) Amendment Act 2014
  • Quarantine Charges (Imposition-Customs) Amendment Act 2014
  • Quarantine Charges (Imposition-Excise) Amendment Act 2014.

The Acts and their explanatory memoranda can be viewed on the Federal Register of Legislation and Australian Parliament websites.

For up-to-date information on the new legislation and implementation process, visit the department’s website at Biosecurity Act 2015 and supporting Acts.

Alternatively, more specific inquires can be directed to New Biosecurity Legislation or 1800 040 629.


Troy Czabania
Assistant Secretary
Design and Change Branch

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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