Chapter 11 - Governance and officials

The formal consultation process on the draft legislation closed on 24 October 2012. All the submissions made as part of the initial phase of the consultation were considered and where appropriate amendments were made to the draft legislation.

The Biosecurity Bill 2012 and the Inspector-General of Biosecurity Bill were introduced into Parliament on 28 November 2012.

The eleventh chapter of the Biosecurity Bill is one of four chapters that relate to human health provisions of the Bill.

Page last updated: 20 February 2013

Key points

  • The Director of Human Biosecurity will have powers and functions under the Act in relation to human biosecurity.
  • The legislation will establish different types of officers with specific powers and functions.

    Full chapter

    The eleventh chapter of the Biosecurity Bill 2012 can be downloaded below.
    Biosecurity Bill 2012, Chapter 11 - Governance and officials (PDF 323 KB)
    Biosecurity Bill 2012, Chapter 11 - Governance and officials (Word 175 KB)

    Summary

    Overview

    Chapter 11 of the Biosecurity Bill makes clear the powers and responsibilities of the Director of Biosecurity, the Director of Human Biosecurity, and specific officers defined under the legislation. The Bill defines four types of officers: biosecurity officers, biosecurity enforcement officers, chief human biosecurity officers and human biosecurity officers.

    The Director of Human Biosecurity

    The Director of Human Biosecurity is the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer. The powers of the Director of Human Biosecurity include:
  • authorising chief human biosecurity officers and human biosecurity officers and giving directions to those officers
  • other powers, under the Bill in relation to human biosecurity.

    Officers

    Chief Human Biosecurity Officers and Human Biosecurity Officers

    The Director of Human Biosecurity is responsible for authorising chief human biosecurity officers and human biosecurity officers. Both types of officers must follow the directions of the Director of Human Biosecurity in exercising their powers and performing their duties.

    Medical practitioners are nominated by a state or territory government as chief human biosecurity officers. Human biosecurity officers can be employees of the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, employees of a state or territory health body, a member of the Australian Defence Force, or any other person the Director of Human Biosecurity is satisfied has appropriate clinical expertise for the position. For a state or territory employee to be authorised as a chief human biosecurity officer or a human biosecurity officer the Director of Human Biosecurity must seek agreement from the relevant state or territory government agency. Human biosecurity officers may be appointed with limited powers.

    This summary relates only to the human health provisions of the Bill. For the full summary including provisions relating to animal and plant pests and diseases, visit the DAFF Biosecurity Legislation website.