Review of exemption from disallowance provisions in the Biosecurity Act 2015

In 2021 and 2022 the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills conducted a review into the appropriateness of provisions within the Biosecurity Act 2015 which allow delegated legislation to be exempt from parliamentary disallowance.

Under standing orders 24(1)(a)(iv) and (v) the committee may report in respect of Acts of Parliament which may, by express words or otherwise, inappropriately delegate legislative powers or insufficiently subject the exercise of legislative power to parliamentary scrutiny.

The committee identified 30 provisions within the Biosecurity Act 2015 which it considers may inappropriately exempt delegated legislation made under the Act from parliamentary disallowance.

Noting the continued emphasis and commitment of the committee, and the Senate as a whole, to ensuring that delegated legislation made by the executive is subject to appropriate parliamentary oversight, the committee's view is that the Biosecurity Act should be amended to provide that instruments made under the Act are subject to disallowance.

Private briefing

On Wednesday 17 November 2021, the committee held a private briefing with senior officials from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and the Department of Health, to discuss the committee's scrutiny concerns in relation to exemption from disallowance provisions within the Biosecurity Act 2015.

Responses to questions on notice subsequently provided to both departments can be found on the Private briefings page.

Committee reports