Agriculture and Food Minister Kim Chance has announced a new 15-person council to replace the Agriculture Protection Board (APB).
The Biosecurity Council of Western Australia will replace the APB as the principal advisory body on biosecurity issues to the Minister and the Department of Agriculture and Food Director General.
The council will be responsible for advising on strategic biosecurity policy and effective biosecurity management in WA.
Mr Chance said the new council’s role would be broader than the APB as result of the introduction of the new Biosecurity and Agriculture Management (BAM) Act 2007.
“The BAM Act not only covers the protection of agriculture and related resources, but also the prevention and management of biosecurity threats to commercial activities related to agriculture, forestry, fishing, the environment and public amenity,” he said.
“In its first year, the Biosecurity Council will provide advice on the implementation of the BAM Act, agricultural industry funding schemes that may be established under the Act, and on the recognition of biosecurity groups which are established in particular areas of the State.”
The Minister said all council members had a general or specific interest in biosecurity management, and the council included representatives of community and industry organisations.
“They have a broad range of skills, expertise and knowledge and a diversity of perspectives and networks,” he said.
“The council will be chaired by current APB chairman Chris Richardson and four current APB board members, Michelle Allen, Ron Creagh, Robert Gillam and Maxinne Schlanders, have also been appointed to ensure a smooth transition over the next 12 months.
“Other new council members are David Anderson, Lisa Christy, John Edwards, Maggie Lilith, Daniel Machin, Lesley Mayer, Johann van der Merwe, Philip O’Brien and Bob Pearce. One remaining position on the council will be filled later this year.”
It is expected that the Biosecurity Council will meet for the first time in April.
The APB will remain in existence to fulfil its statutory role in relation to declared plants and animals until the BAM Act is fully operational and the old legislation is repealed.
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