Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity Review

​​The Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity (IGAB) is an agreement between the Commonwealth, state and territory governments (except Tasmania) to strengthen the biosecurity system. It defines the roles and responsibilities of governments and outlines the priority areas for collaboration to minimise the impact of pests and diseases on Australia’s economy, environment and community.

In late 2015, Australian Agriculture Ministers agreed to initiate a review of the national biosecurity system and the underpinning IGAB. On 31 March 2016, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP, formally announced the commencement of the review and the independent panel undertaking the review.

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Independent panel

The review is being conducted by a three-person independent panel, comprising: Dr Wendy Craik AM (chair), Mr David Palmer and Dr Richard Sheldrake AM.

The Review

The IGAB review will consider and provide recommendations on the following terms of reference:

  1. The implementation and effectiveness of each section of the current agreement, progress against the priority reform areas outlined in schedules 2–8 and any requirements for revision of the schedules.
  2. The suitability of the agreement to underpin the national biosecurity system into the future.
  3. Current and likely future biosecurity risks and priorities, including the optimal allocation of resources and availability of required capability and capacity to address those risks and priorities, with particular consideration of risks that may impact Australia’s market access arrangements for agricultural products, and the use of innovation in the system.
  4. The development of a national statement of intent for the biosecurity system, encompassing the entire biosecurity continuum, including economic and market access, environmental and social considerations for governments, industry and the community.
  5. Defining roles and responsibilities of all parties in the national biosecurity system. This should include advice on how the concept of a shared biosecurity responsibility can be better understood and implemented across government, industry, environmental and community groups and individuals.
  6. The review of existing cost-sharing arrangements and the potential for implementation of new funding arrangements for all biosecurity activities. Consideration should be given to relevant National Biosecurity Committee projects including:
    • The National Framework for Cost Sharing Biosecurity Activities.
    • The national portfolio investment optimisation model.
    • The national stocktake of biosecurity investment.
  7. The development of measurable indicators to assess whether the national system is achieving its objectives, and to identify where adjustments are needed. Consideration should be given to the availability of appropriate and consistent data.

Draft report

On the 16 December 2016, the ​Review Panel ​released a Draft Report as the next step in its review of Australia’s biosecurity arrangements and the underpinning IGAB. The Draft Report follows the release of a Discussion Paper in May 2016, and the Review Panel’s consultation across the country between May and August 2016.

The Review Panel welcomes submissions on the Draft Report from all interested parties. Submissions should address the Draft Report and consider the Panel’s views, draft recommendations and specific requests for feedback.

A Final Report is expected to be provided to Australian agriculture ministers in May 2017.

Making a submission

A written submission can be a short letter or a more detailed document. Submissions need not cover all issues and there is no limit on the length of written submission—although a shorter submission is welcomed. For longer submissions, including a summary of your comments may be appropriate.

Submissions must be accompanied by the submission cover sheet​​.

For partially confidential submissions, please clearly mark confidential content.

Email your formal submission and the completed cover sheet to IGAB Review, or by post:

IGAB Review Secretariat
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
GPO Box 858

The closing date for submissions is 5pm (AEDT) 27 February 2017.

Publication of submissions

Submissions will be published to this page unless you request otherwise. Please indicate clearly on the online submission form if you wish for it to be treated as confidential, either in full or part.

The Australian Government reserves the right to refuse to publish submissions, or parts of submissions, which contain offensive language, potentially defamatory material or copyright infringing material. A request may be made under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 for a submission marked confidential to be made available. Such requests will be determined in accordance with provisions under that Act.

Personal information provided by you in your submission will be used by the panel and the department for the purposes of the review. Contact information, other than your name and organisation (if applicable) will not be published. Your name and organisation will be published on the department’s website to identify your submission. See the department’s privacy policy web page to learn more about how the department collects, uses and stores personal information.

Where you provide personal information about an individual other than yourself, you must ensure that you notify the individual that you have provided their personal information to the panel and the department, make that person aware of this privacy notice and draw their attention to the department’s privacy policy.


Phone the IGAB ReviewSecretariat on 1800 833 507 or email IGAB Review.