Federal Budget 201314

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12 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 4 μήνες)

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1



Federal Budget 2013

14


Information package


Questions and answers










2


Contents


NATIONAL DROUGHT PROGRAM REFORM

................................
................................
..

4

What does the 2013

14 Budget say about National Drought Program Reform?

..........................

4

Why is reform of drought programs necessary?

................................
................................
............

4

What is in the National Drought Program Reform

package?

................................
.........................

5

Why is a new approach important?

................................
................................
................................

5

How is the package different to the Exceptional Circumstances arrangements?

..........................

5

When will the
package be implemented?

................................
................................
......................

6

What assistance is available before 1 July 2014?

................................
................................
...........

6

Is the Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment still available?

................................
...................

6

What is the Intergovernmental Agreement on National Drought Program Reform?

....................

7

How are the states contributing to the package?

................................
................................
..........

7

Who has been consulted on the package?

................................
................................
.....................

7

What assistance will be available to farmers in times of drought?

................................
................

7

Elements of the new package

................................
................................
................................
............

8

How will the Farm Household Allowance help farmers?

................................
................................

8

Who is delivering the allowance?

................................
................................
................................
...

8

How does the Farm Household Allowance differ from other social security allowa
nces?

............

8

How many farmers can access the new allowance?
................................
................................
.......

9

What are the activities associated with the allowance and how will case managers be

involved?

................................
................................
................................
................................
.........

9

What activities will a payment recipient undertake?

................................
................................
.....

9

Why won’t the al
lowance be implemented until 1 July 2014?

................................
.....................

10

What is the government doing with Farm Management Deposits?

................................
............

10

Why are governments seeking to develop the business skills of farmers?

................................
..

10

How will the national approach to farm business training be delivered?

................................
....

10

How will the n
ew skill set be developed?

................................
................................
.....................

11

What sort of business skills will be included in the new skill set?

................................
................

11

What assistance will be available to help farmers access the new skill set?
................................

11

What have past reviews said about farm business training?

................................
.......................

11

What sort of tools and technologies are governments looking at?

................................
.............

11

What tools and technologies are available to farmers to help them make decisions?

................

11

What is the go
vernment doing to improve social support services?

................................
...........

12





3


What is available to farmers now?

................................
................................
...............................

13

BIOSECURITY

................................
................................
................................
................

14

What does the Budget say about reforming biosecurity?

................................
............................

14

Is the government still committed to reforming biosecurity?

................................
......................

14

How will DAFF continue to improve Australia’s
biosecurity system in 2013

14?

........................

15

What progress was made in 2012

13 towards reforming Australia’s biosecurity system?

.........

15

What progress has been made on the new biosecurity legislation?

................................
............

16

What is the
timeframe on the new legislation?

................................
................................
...........

16

What are the advantages of the new legislation?

................................
................................
........

17

What progress has been made on the new post entry quarantine arrangements?

....................

17

What will the new PEQ facility look like and how will it operate?

................................
...............

18

How will the department consult with clients, stakeholders and staff about the future of

PEQ?

................................
................................
................................
................................
..............

18

What does the Budget say about eradication programs?

................................
............................

18







4


NATIONAL DROUGHT PROGRAM REFORM


What does the 2013

14 Budget say about National Drought Program Reform?

In the 2013

14 Budget, the Australian Government announced its main contribution to
National
Drought Program Reform

a $99.4

million
investment in the new Farm Household Allowance to
support farmers and their partners when they are in hardship.

Recently announced enhancements to the Farm Management Deposits Scheme in
Farm Finance

to
increase the non
-
primary production threshold and allow accounts to be consolidated

will also
contribute to National Drought Program Reform.

The Australian Government will also be working with the states and territories over the coming
months on improved options for farm business training, support for on
-
farm tools and technologies
and better coordinated social support services.


Why is reform
of drought programs necessary?

In 2008, Australian, S
tate and
T
erritory
Primary Industries M
inisters agreed that drought support
based on Exceptional Circumstances programs was no longer appropriate in the face of a variable
climate. Ministers agreed that
future drought arrangements should help farmers focus on risk
management and preparednes
s. Since then, the Australian, State and T
erritory
G
overnments have
been working together to establish a new approach to drought programs.

To inform the reform process,

in 2008 the Australian Government commissioned a
national review
of drought policy

to help inform decisions on how the government can better support fa
rmers. The
review included economic, climatic and social assessments. It found that drought conditions in
Australia were likely to occur more often and be more severe. It also recommended that drought
assistance programs be restructured to better help farm
ers plan and prepare for drought rather than
waiting until they are in crisis to offer assistance.

In 2010, the Australian Government, in partnership with the Western Australian (WA) Government,
initiated a two year pilot of Drought Reform Measures in regi
ons of WA. This was in response to the
national review of drought policy and tested a range of programs to inform the design of a new
national approach. The pilot was
reviewed

in 2011 by an independent panel which confirmed that a
move to programs with a focus on risk management and preparedness was appropriate.

National Drought Program Reform is the Australian,
S
tate and
T
erritory
G
overnments’ agreed way
forwar
d for supporting farm businesses as they manage risks and prepare for challenges, including
drought.





5



What is in the National Drought Program Reform package?

Following much work and consultation, the Australian,

S
tate and
Territory Primary I
ndustries
M
ini
sters have agreed the framework for a new national package of drought programs to replace
the Exceptional Circumstances arrangements.

The package includes:



the new Farm Household Allowance



Farm Management Deposits and taxation measures



a national approach
to farm business training



a coordinated, collaborative approach to the provision of social support services



tools and technologies to inform farmer decision making.

The aim of this package is to help farmers prepare for and manage the effects of drought an
d other
challenges, rather than waiting until they are in crisis to offer assistance.

On 3 May 2013

the Australian, S
tate and Northern Territory
Primary I
ndustries
M
inisters signed the
Intergovernmental Agreement on National Drought Program Reform to forma
lise their commitment
to this new package.


Why is a new approach important?

National Drought Program Reform is an important part of the Australian Government’s plan for
agriculture. The package is designed to encourage farmers to plan for the future and
better manage
risks, including the risks associated with drought.

The new approach will shift the focus to preparedness and risk management through improved
options for farm business training, enhanced risk management tools and better support for farmers
i
n hardship. It is designed to deliver a more productive agricultural sector by helping farm businesses
make informed decisions and capture future opportunities.


How is the package different to the Exceptional Circumstances arrangements?

Australian,
S
tate
and
T
erritory
G
overnments agree that there is a need to remove the inequitable
‘lines on a map’ approach to providing drought assistance and ensure farm families receive help
when they need it the most.

National Drought Program Reform recognises that farm
families can experience hardship for a range
of reasons, not just because of drought. From 1

July

2014 the Australian Government’s Farm




6


Household Allowance will provide eligible farmers and their partners financial assistance without the
need for a drought

or Exceptional Circumstances declaration.

The new package contains more than just financial assistance during a drought, as was the case
under Exceptional Circumstances. The package can help farmers prepare for drought or other
challenges

through
improving farm business management skills or supporting new tools or
technology to inform on
-
farm decision making.

As the new package begins on 1 July 2014, the existing EC arrangements will end on 30 June 2014.


When will the package be implemented?

The p
ackage will be fully implemented from 1 July 2014. From this time, the Australian
Government’s Farm Household Allowance will be available to eligible farmers and their partners.

Some elements, such as Farm Management Deposits, are already available to help

farm businesses
prepare for future challenges
.


What assistance is available before 1 July 2014?



The Australian Government’s
Transitional Farm Family Payment

allows farm familie
s in
hardship to apply for a maximum of 12

months household income support, paid at the same
rate as Newstart Allowance.



The
Farm Management Deposits (FMDs) Scheme

is a tax
-
linke
d risk management tool that
helps primary producers to be more self reliant and better manage fluctuations in their
income due to climate variability and market changes. Changes to the scheme announced as
part of
Farm Finance

will help make FMDs even more useful for primary producers seeking
to manage their finances.



The
Rural Financial Counselling Service

provides free, impartial and confidential financial
counselling to help farmers, fishers and agriculture
-
dependent small businesses in their
decision making.


Is the Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment still available?

On 30 April 2012, the last Exce
ptional Circumstances (EC) declarations lapsed. At the same time the
government announced that the Exceptional Circumstances Interest Rate Subsidy would conclude
on 30 June 2012.

As National Drought Program Reform will be implemented from 1 July 2014, the
EC arrangements
will close on 30 June 2014. Until that time, any EC applications from state or territory governments
will be assessed against the existing EC criteria. The EC Relief Payment remains available should an
area be EC
-
declared by the Australian
Government.





7



What is the Intergovernmental Agreement on National Drought Program Reform?

The agreement was signed on 3 May 2013 by the Australian Government Minister for Agriculture,
Fisheries and Forestry, Senato
r the Hon. Joe Ludwig, and the S
tate and No
rthern Territory
P
rimary
I
ndustries
M
inisters. It outlines the roles and responsibilities for

the Australian, State and Territory
G
overnments in implementing the new package.

The agreement also includes a framework to guide government decisions to increase

or introduce
support when conditions are declining, without conflicting with the objectives of reform
.


How are the states contributing to the package?

As it is a national package, there will be State or Territory
-
specific initiatives to support farmers i
n
their own region. For links to information on the individual State and Territory Governments
programs, please visit
www.daff.gov.au/drought



Who has been consulted on the package?

The Australian, State and
Territory G
overnments have worked closely together to develop the new
package. In addition, the National Farmers’ Federation and the peak farmer organisation(s) in each
state and territory have been consulted during the development of the package. Extensiv
e public
consultation was also undertaken as part of the National Review of Drought Policy
.


What assistance will be available to farmers in times of drought?

The new package will be available at all times, including times of drought. The Australian
Government recognises that in periods of drought, it is likely that more farmers will need to access
support. The Farm Household Allowance provides flexibility for farmers to receive support when
they need it, which for many will be during drought.

There a
re other Australian Government programs that are available to assist farmers during drought.



The
Farm Management Deposits Scheme

can help primary producers to manage their
finance
s better during drought. If they have deposited money in years of high income, they
can then draw on this money in years of low income,
which can

occur during droughts.



The
Rural Financial
Counselling Service

(RFCS) is also available for farmers in severe financial
difficulty in times of drought. While not specifically targeting drought assistance, the RFCS
program aims to provide information and support to people in rural Australia includin
g
during drought.





8


Through the
Intergovernmental Agreement on National Drought Program Reform
, governments
have agreed to a clear, transparent framework to use in response to declining conditions.

The agreement gives governments the flexibility to provide additional support in times of drought,
while s
till meeting the objectives of National Droug
ht Program R
eform
.


Elements of the new package


How will the Farm Household Allowance help farmers?

The Farm Household Allowance will provide eligible farmers and their partners who are experiencing
financial hardship with assistance and support to impro
ve their long
-
term financial situation.

The allowance will be paid fortnightly at a rate equivalent to Newstart Allowance (or Youth
Allowance for those under 22 years). A Health Care Card will be provided to recipients. Support will
also be provided throu
gh a dedicated case manager to help recipients assess their situation and
develop a plan for the future.

Eligible farmers and their partners will be able to access up to three years of payment. This is
designed to give farm families time to get back on the
ir feet and the opportunity to take steps to
improve their circumstances.

More details about the new allowance, including eligibility criteria, will be available prior to
implementation
.


Who is delivering the allowance?

The allowance will be delivered by

the Australian Government Department of Human Services
(formerly Centrelink).


How does the Farm Household Allowance differ from other social security allowances?

The Australian Government recognises that farmers are generally prevented from accessing
mai
nstream social security on the basis of the value of their farm assets, even when those assets are
generating no, or exceptionally low, income.

Under the Farm Household Allowance, assessment of farm assets will be different to other
allowances. This new al
lowance will help ensure farm assets do not present a barrier to support for
farmers in true hardship.





9


The case management support provided through the allowance will be tailored to the needs of
farmers. Recipients will undertake activities agreed with the
ir case manager in return for the
allowance, to help them make decisions to support their long term financial security
.


How many farmers can access the new allowance?

There is no limit on the number of farmers and their partners who can access this
allowance,
provided they meet the eligibility criteria.


What are the activities associated with the allowance and how will case managers be
involved?

Allowance recipients will be required to engage in activities that are aimed at improving their
circumsta
nces. The activities will be designed to help recipients assess their situation and make
decisions to support their long term financial security. Case managers will work with recipients as
they seek to improve their circumstances and ensure that recipients
’ individual situations are taken
into account
.


What activities will a payment recipient undertake?

Recipients will be able
to
work with their case manager to identify activities that will help them
improve their situation. Examples of activities include:



training courses or development activities



appointments with professional advisers



alternative income sources



succession planning



social or health support.

Case managers will be able to negotiate flexible and realistic milestones and completion dates for
objectives and activities, taking into account farming responsibilities.

Recipients will be able to work with their case manager to reassess their needs and capacity over
time and re
-
negotiate their objectives and associated activities accordingly
.





10



Why wo
n’t the allowance be implemented until 1 July 2014?

We need to develop and pass legislation, build supporting IT and train staff, including case
managers, before the allowance can be delivered. This means that the new allowance will begin
from 1 July 2014.

In the meantime, the
Transitional Farm Family Payment

is available until 30 June 2014 for farm
families suffering financial hardship
.


What is the government doing with Farm Man
agement Deposits?

The Farm Management Deposits (FMD) Scheme helps primary producers to be more self
-
reliant and
better manage fluctuations in their income due to climate variability and market changes.

As part of
Farm Finance

the government has announced changes to improve the FMD Scheme, by
increasing the non
-
primary production income threshold and allowing eligible accounts to be
consolidated. This will help primary pro
ducers diversify their income and cut red tape. It is expected
that these enhancements will take effect from 1

July 2014 and will help farmers to manage their
risks more effectively.

The Australian Government will be consulting with the finance sector and
farmer representative
groups about how to make information on the FMD Scheme more readily availab
le to producers and
their adviso
rs
.


Why are governments seeking to develop the business skills of farmers?

Training is an important part of building farmers’

capacity to prepare for and manage risk. Improved
business skills support the productivity, profitability and viability of farm businesses. Training can
also encourage better farm risk management practices and more informed decision making
.


How will the
national approach to farm business training be delivered?

The Australian, State and T
erritory

G
overnments have agreed that a new national approach to farm
business training will be based on the development and roll
-
out of one or more farm business ‘skill
s
ets’.

Skills sets are

targeted groups of

units of competency delivered through the Vocational
Education and Training system
.





11



How will the new skill set be developed?

Governments are working with the relevant Industry Skills Council, AgriFood Skills Austra
lia, and key
members of the farming and training sectors to develop the new skill set. This will include a public
consultation process. Further information on this process can be found on the AgriFood Skills
Australia
website
.


What sort of business skills will be included in the new skill set?

The units of competency to be included in the new skill sets are still being developed. However, it is
expected they will include a mix of relevant business sk
ills and draw on the Farm Planning Program,
which was trialled in the pilot of drought measures in Western Australia
.


What assistance will be available to help farmers access the new skill set?

As part of the decisions made by the Australian, State and Te
rritory Primary Industries Ministers,
each State and Territory is responsible for its own arrangements to encourage the uptake of the new
farm business skill set. It is expected that any new arrangements will be in place by 1 July 2014
.


What have past rev
iews said about farm business training?

In 2009 the Productivity Commission recommended that significant public funding be directed to a
continuous learning program for farmers that encompasses advice and training in managing climate
variability and improv
ing farm business management. The
2011 Keogh review of the pilot of drought
reform measures in Western Australia

recommended that governments should support strategi
c
farm business planning as a means of improving resilience and adaptability in the farm sector
.


What sort of tools and technologies are governments looking at?

Governments are looking at options for improving the information available to farmers to help
them
prepare for and manage the risks of climate variability
.


What tools and technologies are available
to
farmers to help them make decisions?

The department works closely with other Australian Government agencies and research
organisations to ensure we

are aware of the tools and technologies that can be useful to farmers as
they make decisions.





12


Below are some examples of tools and technologies available and recent developments which can
assist farmers with climate
-
related decision

making
.

Bureau of Mete
orology

The Bureau of Meteorology has a range of weather, water and climate information products
available through its website
www.bom.gov.au

which assist farmers in managing climate variability.

The Bureau provides data, analyses and commentary on current climate and water conditions,
averages and trends which can
inform climate
-
related decision
making and risk management.

In addition, Seasonal Climate Outlooks are a key tool that can provide adva
nced information about
likely seasonal conditions. The Seasonal Climate Outlooks are currently being extensively redesigned
on the basis of user feedback to more effectively communicate and meet the needs of farmers and
other users for seasonal forecast in
formation.

The Bureau is continuing to develop the Predictive Ocean Atmosphere Model for Australia (POAMA).
POAMA is a state
-
of
-
t
he
-
art seasonal to inter
-
annual
forecast system. It has been extensively tested
over recent years and from 22 May 2013 it will
become the basis for the official seasonal forecast.
POAMA will improve forecasting skills, particularly in a changing climate, and in the coming years,
will enable forecasts over more timescales (weeks to months to multi
-
monthly), assisting farmers to
mak
e decisions at key production points
.

Managing Climate Variability Program

The Managing Climate Variability (MCV) Program is working to improve farmers’ understanding of
and ease of access to climate information. The program is a partnership of several of
the research
and development corporations and managed by the Grains Research and Development Corporation.
Further information

on the program can be found at

www.managingclimate.gov.au/

The Climate Kelpie web
site at
www.climatekelpie.com.au

connects farmers and their advisors to
tools and information about the climate to help farmers make decisions about their farm business.

MCV has also recently launched the CliMa
te mobile phone and tablet app, which
c
an help farmers
make more informed decisions about their farming operations based on recent weather and likely
climate probabilities for their own region. The app is free and available on iTunes and a web version
is a
vailable at
www.australianclimate.net.au


What is the government doing to improve social support services?

The
national review of drought policy

and the
review of the pilot of drought reform measures in
Western Australia

found that coordination and communication of s
ocial support services needed to
be improved at all times, not just during drought.

Governments, social support service providers and communities will be working together to ensure
that people have access to social support services when they need them.





13



Wh
at is available to farmers now?

At the Australian Government level, the Department of Human Services delivers social and health
-
related payments and services through Medicare, Centrelink, Child Support, CRS Australia and
Australian Hearing. Please visit
www.humanservices.gov.au

for further information.

The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs also provides a
range of social support programs. Please visit
www.fahcsia.gov.au

for further information.

There are also a whole range of socia
l support services provided by S
tate and
Territory
G
overnments, and non
-
government and charitable organisations
.























14


BIOSECURITY


What does
the B
udget say about reforming biosecurity?

Australia’s biosecurity system lies at the heart of our position as a trading nation and underpins
Australia
’s

reputation as a reliable producer of high quality food and fibre. The 2013

14 Budget
supports the sig
nificant task of managing Australia’s biosecurity system and progressing reforms to
strengthen our ability to minimise threats to Australia’s primary production sectors, human health
and the environment.

The 2013

14 Budget provides continued investment for

the implementation of a risk
-
based
approach; incr
easing our ability to manage

risks offshore, as well as at airports, seaports, mail
centres and along Australia’s coastline.
We
will continue
to improve our

data colle
ction and analysis
capabilities, progre
ss legislative reform
and
support the
continuation of eradication programs.

As announced in previous Budgets, the Australian Government will invest $117.9

million through the
Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio in 2013

14 in reforms to Australia’
s biosecurity system
to ensure the continued delivery of a modern system that is responsive and targeted, comprising:



$73.3 million for quarantine border security



$30.6 million for moving core functions towards reform



$9

million for

information communicati
on technology

systems



$5

million for foundation elements of biosecurity reform

The reform agenda focuses on building a sustainable system that manages risk across the continuum
to better support consistent service delivery onshore, at the border and offsho
re; providing effective
biosecurity risk management underpinn
ed by sound evidence and policy,

improving the efficiency
a
nd responsiveness of operations

and strengthening stakeholder relationships.

The Australian Government will also continue its investmen
t in the design and construction of a new
post ent
ry quarantine facility for high
-
risk plant and animal imports. In 2013

14, the Australian
Government will invest $
60.6

million in this initiative.

The Australian Government will also provide funding of $13
million in 2013

14

through Caring for
our Country for eradication programs for nationally significant pests and diseases. This ongoing
allocation will ensure incursions can be eradicated as quickly as possible
.


Is the g
overnment still committed to reformi
ng biosecurity?

The g
overnment remains committed to reforming

Australia’s biosecurity system and

building upon
the significant achievements made since 200
8
. Changes
to how we manage

biosecurity risk will
continue through business improvement and the implementation of risk
-
based decision making, the
use of intelligence and streamlining business processes.
F
unding
allocations
will be considered on an
ongoing basis as part of the usual
budget process.





15



How will DAFF continue to improve Australia’s biosecurity system in 2013

14?

In 2013

14 DAFF will:



continue development of biosecurity legislation



commence building of the new post entry quarantine

(PEQ)

facility and work on transition
arrangements. It’s expected the new facility will commence staged operations in 2015 with
full operation in 2018



continue implementation of risk
-
based approaches to biosecurity operations by using
improved data collection t
o understand compliance history. This will allow for risk
-
based
targeting of activities and behaviours and potentially faster clearance for compliant clients



continue examination of biosecurity funding and engagement with stakeholders on way
s to
modernise
biosecurity cost
-
recovery arrangements



improve Australia’s preparedness for an outbreak of foot
-
and
-
mouth disease through
implementation of the National Action Plan



finalise changes to the Biosecurity Import Conditions (BICON) software to ensure that it
me
et clients and stakeholders expectations.


What progress was made in 2012

13 towards reforming Australia’s biosecurity system?

The 2013

14 Budget build
s

on the strong progress
already made
in reforming Australia’s biosecurity
system.
The reforms to Austral
ia’s biosecurity system will position the Australian Government to
meet increasing demand on biosecurity management; to deliver a more efficient, effective and
sustainable biosecurity system.
A great deal has been achieved and many benefits to industry and

government have already been realised.

These include:

Legislative reform

The Australian Government has developed new biosecurity legislation to replace the century
-
old
Quarantine Act 1908
. The new legislation will
enable

better manage
ment

of the
risks of

pests and
diseases causing harm to animal, plant and human health, the environment or the economy, whilst
moving passengers and goods safely across the border.

Post Entry Quarantine

In July 2012 the Commonwealth announced the site acquisition of a 144
-
hec
tare parcel of land in
Mickleham, Victoria for the construction of a new post entry quarantine facility. The

Australian
Government has invested $60.6 million in 2013

14 for a
new PEQ
. This facility
will consolidate
existing animal and plant quarantine ser
vices into a single, integrated site and will provide Australia
with the newest and most advanced technology and operating practices available.

DAFF continued to consult stakeholders during the development of concept designs for the new
facility. The proje
ct was referred to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Standing Committee on




16


Public Works (the PWC) in early 2013. The referral is a critical step in the delivery of the project. The
PWC must approve the proposed works before construction of the facility can pr
oceed.

Biosecurity improvements

We have continued to implement a risk
-
based approach to the management of biosecurity by
aligning the level of regulatory effort with the level of risk.

Export reforms continue to deliver options for more efficient export c
ertification and inspection
services and reduced regulatory costs.

For imports, revi
ews of activities to manage low
-
risk imports have identified opportunities to
streamline and reduce our interven
tion arrangements. However high
-
risk imports, particularly
where illegal activities have been identified, have been subject to increased intervention. This has
reduc
ed the regulatory burden on low
-
risk imports and compliant industry participants whilst
ensuri
ng effective management of high
-
risk imports and targeti
ng of non
-
compliant importers.


What progress has been made on the new biosecurity legislation?

The Biosecurity Bill 2012 and the Inspector
-
General of Biosecurity Bill 2012 were introduced into
Parliament on 28 November 2012. Both Bills were referred to t
he Rural and Regional Affairs and
Transport Legislation Committee for inquiry and the Committee is due to report on 24 June 2013.

Work is continuing on the Biosecurity (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill.
This Bill will preserve a n
umber of directions, exemptions and other powers in the
Quarantine Act
1908

ensuring that biosecurity operations and the management of biosecurity risks can continue
uninterrupted after the repeal of the
Quarantine Act 1908

and the commencement of the
Biosecurity Act.

The department is working with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel to develop the subordinate
legislation to support the Biosecurity Bill 2012 and the Inspector
-
General of Biosecurity Bill 2012.


What is the timeframe on the new
legislation?

The Biosecurity Bill 2012 and the Inspector
-
General of Bill 2012 are subject to a Parliamentary
process and progress of both Bills can be tracked through the Parliament House website.

Sections 1 and 2 of the Biosecurity Bill will commence on t
he day the Bill receives Royal Assent,
giving effect to the commencement provisions of the Bill. The operational chapters of the Bill would
commence 12 months after Royal Assent, which provides sufficient time for awareness raising,
transition, implementat
ion and training activities to occur.

The department is developing subordinate legislation to support the Biosecurity Bill 2012 and the
Inspector
-
General of Biosecurity Bill 2012. Similar to the exposure draft of the Bill, the subordinate




17


legislation will
be released as it becomes available to allow stakeholders the longest possible time to
review the regulations.


What are the advantages of the new legislation?

The new biosecurity legislation will provide a responsive and flexible operating environment to

underpin Australia's position as a strong trading nation. The new biosecurity legislation will highlight
the importance of transparent and accountable decision making practices underpinned by rigorous
science, evidence and intelligence. It will focus on r
esponsive regulation enabling a system that
intervenes where there is a biosecurity risk that needs to be managed and promotes effective
cooperation between governments, stakeholders and the community.


What progress has been made on the new post entry qua
rantine arrangements?

In the 2012

13 Budget, the Australian Government announced funding of $379.9 million over seven
years for the construction and operation of a new post entry qua
rantine (PEQ) facility for high
-
risk
plant and animal imports.

This built
on the government's announcement made in the 2011

12 Budget when a commitment to
fund further development of future post entry arrangements (including detailed design work and
procurement activities related to land acquisition) was made, along with funds f
or the maintenance
and refurbishment of existing DAFF PEQ facilities.

Government oper
ated PEQ facilities manage high
-
risk imported animal and plant species and are a
key component of Australia’s biosecurity system. A secure and efficient facility discourag
es
smuggling and reduces biosecurity risk associated with the importation of new genetic material
which is necessary for Australian agriculture to maintain competiveness and productivity.

The delivery of a new PEQ facility is underway and scheduled to comm
ence staged operations from
late 2015. Land was purchased at Mickleham, Victoria in 2012 and work on design and approvals will
continue through 2013.

The project’s referral to the
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works
(PWC) and a
subsequent public hearing by the PWC took place on 27 March 2013.


It is expected that the
committee will report back to the parliament in mid May. The successful passage of an exped
iency
motion by Parliament will allow the project to progress to the construction phase. It is expected
construction will commence from early 2014.





18



What will the new PEQ facility look like and how will it operate?

The project aims to replace our current f
ive ageing PEQ facilities
around Australia
with a sustainable,
reliable facility that adopts modern technology and operating practices. It will deliver a state
-
of
-
the
-
art facility that will integrate existing animal and plant services into a single site in

Victoria.

The new facility will continue to operate in line with existing import policies. The consolidation of
services and integration of activities is intended to lead to greater operational efficiencies.


How will the department consult with clients,
stakeholders and staff about the future of
PEQ?

DAFF has undertaken, and will continue to undertake extensive stakeholder consultation to ensure
that staff, facility users and interested parties have the opportunity to provide input on operational,
busines
s and future facility needs, cost estimates and risks and impacts.

This input has supported the effective development and analysis of options for future post entry
arrangements, especially on matters such as:



suggestions for the layout and design of each
element of the facility on the Victorian site



information about recent changes in patterns and volumes of imports through existing PEQ
sites, and views about likely future changes in imports



views on the potential for improvements in the technical specific
ations of each building or
key structure in the new post entry facility, and



information and data on the scale and complexity of post entry operations.

You can register by emailing the
PEQ proj
ect

at or by visiting the

DAFF website

for advice on future
consultation opportunities.


What does the B
udget say about eradication programs?

The Australian
Gover
nment, in partnership with the States, T
erritories and industry, contributes to
the effective eradication or control of incursions if and when they occur. This partnership approach
recognises that pests and diseases can reach our shore and can impact
our environment, our food
security and economy.

The 2013

14 Budget through Caring for our Country will provide funding of $13 million for
eradication programs
of

nationally significant pests and diseases.