Stronger biosecurity laws have passed in Parliament which raise the maximum penalty for non-compliance with our federal biosecurity laws to $1.11 million.
The changes were announced by Honourable David Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management on 18 February 2021.
The new Biosecurity Amendment (Strengthening Penalties) Bill is designed to provide a stronger penalty regime that more appropriately reflects the seriousness of breaching the Biosecurity Act.
The Bill increases a number of civil and criminal penalties under the Biosecurity Act to ensure they are appropriate, adequate and fit the crime. Amendments focus on individuals and businesses, such as commercial importers and biosecurity industry participants, that have a particular responsibility to know and understand their obligations under the Act and take necessary steps to comply with the law.
The new maximum penalties reflect the potential gains someone might obtain or seek to obtain through non-compliance with our biosecurity laws, as well as the devastating impact that contraventions may have on Australia’s biosecurity status, market access and economy.