Partnerships in Biosecurity

​​​​​​Department of Agriculture – Department of Health Memorandum of Understanding

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed by the Secretaries of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health, establishing the framework for how the two agencies work together.

Agriculture and Health portfolios have joint responsibility for biosecurity, imported food and development of food standards, disease management, regulation of genetically modified organism, management of antimicrobial resistance and pesticides and veterinary medicines.

The agreement supports the spirit of collaboration, teamwork and the portfolio’s commitment to working together, and will be further strengthened over time with the development of supporting annexes, covering specific joint activities:

  • Biosecurity services (Department of Agriculture / Department of Health)
  • Biotechnology (Department of Agriculture / Office of the Gene Technology Regulator)
  • Food (Department of Agriculture / Food Standards Australia New Zealand)
  • Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines (Department of Health / Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority).

The MOU will provide a framework for cooperation and deals with matters of governance, communication and cooperation on legislation and policy development and improves the strategic guidance for the portfolios, enabling more efficient business planning and risk management.


Department of Agriculture-Customs Memorandum of Understanding

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of Agriculture and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service establishes the framework for how the two agencies work together.

The department​ and Customs and Border Protection officers work side-by-side at Australia’s airports, seaports and mail centres supporting legitimate trade and travel and protecting the Australian community from a range of border and biosecurity risks. 

The MOU was signed at an official ceremony in Canberra on 21 July 2011 by the department's Secretary, Dr Conall O’Connell and the Customs and Border Protection’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Michael Carmody.

The MOU underpins the strategic working relationship between the two agencies where collaborative cooperation will identify opportunities to improve our effectiveness and efficiency in managing our common border protection and biosecurity functions.

The agreement supports the spirit of collaboration, cooperation and our commitment to working together.

The MOU describes the relationship between the two agencies and the agreed working principles seeking:

  • Community confidence
  • Integration
  • Capability maximisation
  • Coordination
  • Global and regional partnerships.

Communiqué - 23 January 2012


Several annexes to the MOU, covering specific joint activities follow: