The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: A Short History of Biosecurity Regulation in Australia

Edited book (chapter)


McNamara, Noeleen. 2023. "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: A Short History of Biosecurity Regulation in Australia ." McKibbin, Sarah, Patrick, Jeremy and Harmes, Marcus K. (ed.) The Impact of Law's History: What's Past is Prologue. Switzerland. Springer. pp. 257-276
Chapter Title

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: A Short History of Biosecurity Regulation in Australia

Book Chapter CategoryEdited book (chapter)
ERA Publisher ID3337
Book TitleThe Impact of Law's History: What's Past is Prologue
AuthorsMcNamara, Noeleen
EditorsMcKibbin, Sarah, Patrick, Jeremy and Harmes, Marcus K.
Page Range257-276
SeriesPalgrave Modern Legal History (PMLH)
Chapter Number13
Number of Pages20
Year2023
PublisherSpringer
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
ISBN9783030900670
9783030900700
9783030900687
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-90068-7_13
Web Address (URL)https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-90068-7_13
Abstract

Biosecurity is a major issue for Australia. There have been both successes in stopping the import of diseases and failures in allowing the import of destructive flora and fauna. This chapter will review the legislative history and policies surrounding some of these successes and failures to demonstrate best practice legislation going forward. By way of example, the threat of grape phylloxera, which led to the passing of the Phylloxera Act 1899 (SA), prohibited the import of cuttings from the old-world vineyards—at a time when many vineyards were being wiped out in Europe. Phylloxera was successful and coincidentally has resulted in Australia having the oldest shiraz vineyards in the world. This is not just an historical threat, with current legislation still targeting phylloxera and other vineyard diseases. The chapter will also discuss various historic failures, where a lack of knowledge of local circumstances led to the import of inappropriate “cures”. The cane toad example is well known. Another example is a native African plant, Glycine, which was introduced into Australia for cattle fodder. It is now regarded as an invasive weed, particularly in tropical and sub-tropical Australia. The chapter will address other flora and fauna examples which continue as major environmental problems today. A theme of the chapter is that an understanding of the historical policies surrounding the development of legislation is relevant today as they give us an understanding of what should be considered when developing biosecurity policy and legislation in the modern era.

KeywordsHistory; Biosecurity Regulation
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020480203. Environmental law
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Law and Justice
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