Biosecurity management plans for island national parks

Under the Biosecurity Act 2014, everyone in Queensland has a general biosecurity obligation (GBO).

As a commercial (or other) operator in a protected area, recreation area or forest, you are responsible for management biosecurity risks that are under your control, that you know about, or should be reasonably expected to know about. This GBO includes island national parks.

Protection of island national parks includes preventing the movement of invasive animals, and plant pests and diseases (invasive species) to these sensitive locations, particularly considering unique island population dynamics of flora and fauna. These invasive species can cause ecological harm, significantly impacting the environmental and cultural values of island national parks.

Pests and diseases

Commercial and other activities carried out on island national parks have the potential to spread invasive species to island national parks.

Although invasive species can move via natural processes (wind, ocean, birds, etc), they can also spread by 'hitch-hiking' on goods or people, including:

  • equipment, vehicles, cargo, machinery, mobile structures and tools which can transport soil or organic matter that can carry weed seeds or invasive pests (e.g. timber borers and termites can be moved in timber pallets)
  • personal effects and recreational equipment such as mountain bikes, camping gear and storage boxes that can be contaminated with soil containing weed seeds or invasive pests (e.g. weed seeds attached to clothing or footwear).

Invasive species include, but are not limited to:

Biosecurity management plans

Commercial and other activities carried out on island national parks may require a biosecurity management plan (BMP) to manage biosecurity risks, which may be a condition of the Commercial Activity Permit (CAP) or agreement, or organised event permit.

A BMP assists to prevent the movement of invasive pests by outlining specific biosecurity risks that are unique to a place and activity, and the reasonable measures and processes applied to mitigate those biosecurity risks. The details and scope of a BMP will depend on the time, frequency, and scale of the activity.

Where a BMP is a condition of your permit or agreement, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) may audit the biosecurity processes and may request a review or amendment where necessary. A BMP must be a stand-alone document and should contain procedures tailored to your specific activity.

BMP template

QPWS suggests you use the following headings and considerations to guide the development of a BMP specific to your activity.

Provide a general overview of the activity, including:

  • the individual/position that will be responsible for managing the biosecurity components
  • the area of operations (e.g. departure ports, arrival ports and staging/storage of equipment)
  • type of activities (e.g. moving workers or discharging construction materials)
  • transportation used (e.g. vessels or aircraft)
  • a map of the site that identifies storage sites before departing the mainland and at the island destination (e.g. laydown area*, storage facilities or wharf if applicable).

* An area outside of the worksite where tools, materials, equipment, vehicles, etc are stored until needed.

Supplement the above text by including a statement attesting to the project's commitment to meet the permission's biosecurity requirements.

Outline the roles and responsibilities of key project personnel and key contacts, including:

  • ensuring the BMP is current and followed during the activity by all involved persons
  • delivery of biosecurity awareness information and material for project personnel (e.g. induction training, toolbox talk and pre-start meetings)
  • development of a communications plan to define procedures for managing and reporting biosecurity issues to relevant authorities (during business hours contact QPWS on (07) 3199 7514 or

Where necessary, detail terms used in the BMP.

Provide a list of associated documents and checklists or templates used in developing the BMP.

These can be used for future reviews of the BMP.

Describe the training and procedures used to ensure that all personnel understand the importance of biosecurity and their responsibilities:

  • biosecurity awareness trainers
  • key messages to deliver
  • delivery methods (e.g. inductions, toolbox/start-up meetings) and who will be trained
  • training frequency
  • on-going initiatives to maintain biosecurity awareness (e.g. signage, BMP periodic review)
  • training records.

Provide a description of:

  • significant environmental values of the island national park to protect – these can be general or specific values unique to an island. For example, do threatened species inhabit the island?
  • current level of visitation to the island—uninhabited with no regular visitation; uninhabited with regular visitation (e.g. accessible from mainland and popular with recreational users/campers); inhabited with regular passenger/vehicle ferry. Would the proposed activity increase biosecurity risks?
  • key invasive pests (general or specific) that may be associated with the movement of goods and people. Consider the transport pathways and how invasive species can be moved to islands
  • cargo and equipment types (provide lists or images)
    • will equipment be new or used?
    • where was the equipment used previously?
    • what is the risk that the equipment/cargo has picked up pest 'hitch-hikers'?

Detail the mainland pre-departure and on arrival procedures and checklists used to determine how biosecurity risks with equipment or people can be reduced.

Pre-departure checks:

  • inspection procedure including timing (e.g. morning of departure, evening before), location, person responsible, and documentation involved
  • hygiene measures used to reduce the risk of contamination during storage on the mainland (e.g. limiting access to staging/storage area, covering items and storage off the ground on a clean and hard surface)
  • containment measures (e.g. storage and containerisation of goods)
  • pest treatments (preventative or responding to pest detection) and documentation required (e.g. fumigation treatment certificates)
  • processes for removing contamination from equipment or washdown procedures (e.g. soil or organic matter).

On arrival:

  • surveillance of designated laydown area, person responsible, timing, and documentation
  • final containment measures in case pests are detected at the arrival laydown site or worksite.

Examples of methods to reduce your biosecurity risks

Pests Pre-departure actions On arrival actions
Vehicles, machinery, equipment, mobile structures, shipping containers, tools and, sea cargo
Soil contamination with seeds or fungi
  • Designated laydown areas inspected for pests
  • Inspection
  • Treatment and cleaning (e.g. washing, sweeping or vacuum, disinfecting if required)
Site surveillance
Insects (e.g. ants, termites or borers)
  • Insecticide treatment ('knock-down' to kill insects that are present and residual treatment of goods if required)
  • Use of heat-treated timber pallets where possible
Animals (e.g. rodents)
  • Rodent baiting program (if required)
  • Storage in sealed containers or shrink wrapping
People movement, personal effects, food or plant materials

Soil and organic matter

Insects (hitch-hike)

  • Inspection of equipment
  • Cleaning footwear and personal effects
  • Use sealed containers (limit cardboard and timber packaging)
Limit access and movement on the island