General biosecurity obligation
Under the Biosecurity Act 2014, everyone in Queensland has a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) to ensure that they do not spread a pest, disease or a contaminant. We are all responsible for managing biosecurity risks that are under our control.
Under the GBO, individuals and corporations whose activities pose a biosecurity risk must:
- take all reasonable and practical steps to prevent or minimise each biosecurity risk
- minimise the likelihood of causing a biosecurity event, and limit the consequences if an event is caused
- prevent or minimise the harmful effects a risk could have, and not do anything that might make any harmful effects worse.
Even if you are permitted to access places under an Act, you still have a GBO to minimise biosecurity risks.
Prevent or minimise biosecurity risks
- Come clean, go clean—Before entering and leaving agricultural properties, parks or forests, ensure your shoes, clothing, vehicles or equipment are free from weed seeds, dirt, soil or debris.
- Follow biosecurity zones and other movement restrictions—Before moving certain plant material, animals, food products, soil and related equipment, ensure you are aware of and comply with any requirements in your area.
- Spot and report anything unusual—If this is the first time you have noticed a pest or disease, and you think it may have an impact on human health, social amenity, the economy or the environment, report it immediately to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.
- Know the property—Before entering someone's property, make sure you are aware of what their biosecurity management plan requires, if there is one in place.
- Take reasonable steps to be informed about pests and diseases—Visit your local government's website for more information on specific risks to your area.
How the GBO applies to you
- Visiting agricultural properties or recreational places
- Livestock operator
- Commercial crop operator
- Moving livestock
- Moving plant products, soil and equipment
Living in Queensland
As a resident or a visitor in Queensland, you are expected to know the basics about how to reduce the risk of spreading a pest or disease and be informed about problem pests in your local area.
- Know what animals or plants you can keep in Queensland to ensure you are not spreading pests and diseases.
- Understand what risks your recreational hobbies pose. If you fish or enjoy the great outdoors, ensure you clean down equipment, such as fishing equipment or camping gear, before and after use to ensure these do not spread pests and diseases.
- Research the species of plants you are using to ensure you are not possessing or distributing an invasive species before you propagate plants for gifts or sell at market stalls.
Travelling around Australia
If you travel around Australia, you are expected to know what you can and cannot take into different states and territories.
Before travelling, visit the Australian Interstate Quarantine map to check what food, plant and animal products require permits, can come with you or must be disposed of.
Ensure you stay informed of the latest travel advice for your destination and be on the lookout for signage.
Biosecurity Queensland focuses on:
- educating Queenslanders about biosecurity
- encouraging voluntary compliance with the GBO
- providing advice on how to manage specific risks.
A biosecurity officer can also issue a biosecurity order requiring specific action to be taken within a reasonable time.
When necessary, Biosecurity Queensland takes formal compliance action to ensure an individual, business or other organisation improves the way they manage biosecurity risks.
Not complying with the GBO is an offence.
- Follow Biosecurity Queensland on Facebook for updates.
- Subscribe to Department of Agriculture and Fisheries biosecurity alerts.
- Learn about current biosecurity incidents across Australia.
- Last reviewed: 8 Jun 2023
- Last updated: 8 Jun 2023