Biosecurity Act 2014 - Queensland

Service summary

The Biosecurity Act 2014 provides comprehensive biosecurity measures to safeguard Queensland's economy, agricultural and tourism industries, environment and way of life, from pest, diseases and contaminants. Decisions made under the Act will depend on the likelihood and consequences of the risk. This means risks can be managed more appropriately.

Service type

Regulatory Obligation

An obligation defined in law. A business must comply with relevant services.

Definition of terms

Biosecurity Event

A Biosecurity Event is caused by a pest, disease or contaminant that is or is likely to become a significant problem for human health, social amenity, the economy or the environment.

Biosecurity Matter

Biosecurity Matter is a living thing, other than a human or part of a human; or a pathogenic agent that can cause disease in a living thing, other than a human, or in a human, by the transmission of the pathogenic agent from the animal to the human; or a disease; or a contaminant.

Biosecurity Risk

A Biosecurity Risk is a risk of any adverse effect on a biosecurity consideration, caused by or likely to be caused by biosecurity matter; or dealing with biosecurity matter or a carrier; or carrying out an activity relating to biosecurity matter or a carrier


A Carrier is any animal or plant, or part of any animal or plant, or any other thing capable of moving biosecurity matter from a place to another place; or contains biosecurity matter that may attach to or enter another animal or plan or another thing. A thing in this context is alive, dead or inanimate and includes a human.

General Biosecurity Obligation

The General Biosecurity Obligation requires everyone to manage biosecurity risks under their control and take all reasonable and practical measures to minimise the likelihood of causing a biosecurity risk and minimise the adverse effects of dealing with a biosecurity matter or carrier.

Notifiable Incident

A Notifiable Incident is a biosecurity event that must be notified to an Inspector, for example, designated animals with blisters on their mouths or feet, an abnormally high mortality rate or morbidity rate in plants or in designated animals, a sudden and unexplained fall in production relating to plants or designated animals or the presence of a contaminant in a carrier in an amount more than the maximum acceptable level.

Prohibited Matter

Prohibited Matter is biosecurity matter not currently present or known to be present in Queensland which is prohibited because it may have a significant adverse effect on a biosecurity consideration if it did enter Queensland.

Restricted Matter

Restricted Matter is biosecurity matter found in Queensland and may have adverse effects on a biosecurity consideration if conditions or restrictions under the Act were not imposed.


To manage your biosecurity risks, you will need to take all reasonable and practical steps to prevent or minimise the risk. In determining the action to take, you will need to consider the likelihood and consequence of the risk for that specific circumstance.

Biosecurity Queensland will focus on providing education about reasonable and practical steps to minimise biosecurity risks. Information published by other reputable organisations could also help guide you in minimising biosecurity risks.

The Queensland Government will continue to take immediate action to manage biosecurity risks. Under the Biosecurity Act 2014, initial action can be taken if there is a reasonable belief that a serious risk exists, without having to wait for scientific confirmation.

You have to inform Biosecurity Queensland of a notifiable incident. A notifiable incident may include:

  • unexpected crop failures
  • unacceptable contaminant levels
  • blisters on the mouth or feet of stock
  • abnormally high mortality or morbidity rates in animals or plants
  • a sudden and unexplained fall in production
  • a contaminant (such as heavy metals, asbestos, residual organochlorine pesticides or pathogenic bacteria) above a prescribed threshold.

You have to advise an inspector of a notifiable incident when you:

  • become aware of the incident
  • believe that the incident is a notifiable incident or should reasonably believe the incident is a notifiable incident
  • have no reason to believe an inspector is already aware of the incident.

You should also not take any action likely to increase the risk and take all reasonable action to minimise the risk. 

You are obligated to notify an authorised officer of risks listed as prohibited matter and category 1 and 2 restricted matter.

Publications Details

Administering agency

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Biosecurity Queensland

Regulation(s) name

Biosecurity Regulations 2016 (Queensland)

Contact details

Customer Service Centre
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Biosecurity Queensland


13 25 23


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