Our Biosecurity Plan—protecting against invasive species
  • Last updated:
  • 08 Aug 2022

The Sunshine Coast is recognised for its rich biodiversity comprising a diverse range of plants and animals. These are supported by our natural areas across a range of habitats including aquatic, bushland and coastal areas.

Healthy ecosystems not only support environmental diversity but sustain our production areas and support our quality of life. 

Invasive plants and animals are recognised as a significant threat to our natural environment, agricultural areas and communities including human health and well-being.

Managing invasive species is a priority for council and is identified as a Transformational Action in our Environment and Liveability Strategy 2017. Having a biosecurity plan for our local government area is also a requirement of the Biosecurity Act 2014.

The Sunshine Coast Local Government Area Biosecurity Plan 2017 provides a framework for the management of priority invasive plants and animals in our local government area. 

The Plan was developed in collaboration with various sectors. This included Traditional Owners, non-for profit community groups, various government organisations and industry representatives involved in invasive species management.

The Plan sets out a co-ordinated and co-operative approach to bring everyone together to effectively and efficiently manage invasive animals and plants to minimise their impacts on our region.

Council conducts Biosecurity Programs in accordance with the Biosecurity Act 2014 and our Biosecurity Plan.

The Act allows council officers to enter properties throughout the Sunshine Coast region to identify and respond to biosecurity risks relating to invasive plants and animals. If a person has failed to carry out their General Biosecurity Obligation (GBO) a Biosecurity order may be issued directing a person to control prohibited or restricted invasive plants or animals.

Our Biosecurity Programs

Council has resolved to conduct a Biosecurity Program - Feral Animal Prevention and Control Program [PDF 249KB] in accordance with Section 235 of the Biosecurity Act 2014, within the whole of the Sunshine Coast local government area.

This Biosecurity Program commenced 6 September 2021 and will continue until 5 September 2022.

The next Biosecurity Program will commence 12 September 2022 and continue until 11 September 2025.

The purpose and scope for the program is:

(a) preventing the entry, establishment or spread of wild dogs (dog, other than a domestic dog, dingo), feral pigs, feral goats, feral cats, feral deer, European foxes and European rabbits in an area that poses a significant biosecurity risk;

(b) managing, reducing or eradicating any wild dogs (dog, other than a domestic dog, dingo), feral pigs, feral goats, feral cats, feral deer, European foxes and European rabbits in an area that could pose a significant environmental biosecurity risk.

The program will apply to properties within the Sunshine Coast Council local government area whereby:-

  1. the occupier of a property requests assistance to address invasive biosecurity matter - invasive animals - prohibited or restricted matter;
  2. council has been alerted to a property from information collected that invasive biosecurity matter - invasive animals - prohibited or restricted matter are present or likely to be present;
  3. they are owned or under the control of council or the occupier of a property is undertaking primary production or located in the vicinity of primary production;
  4. properties that are privately owned.

Powers of Authorised Officers

Authorised persons are directed to act under the program to assist in the management of invasive biosecurity matter - invasive animals that are prohibited or restricted matter:-

  • Provide information and education to an occupier of a place.
  • Undertake property assessments to determine the travel routes or harbourage areas of the feral animals being targeted in the program.
  • Collect information from occupiers of properties to inform the program to maximise its functioning.
  • Establish monitoring cameras, sand pads or other animal detection devices on a property to determine the presence of roaming domestic animals or feral animals.
  • Install traps and or deploy poisons in line with regulatory controls including humane destruction.
  • Install warning signage on the property to alert the public to the actions being conducted.
  • Visit the property at varying hours to attend to traps and other devices.
  • Visit the property at varying hours to undertake removal/destruction of feral animals in line with regulatory controls and humane destruction.
  • Undertake the use of firearms for feral animal destruction purposes within the regulatory controls.
  • Engage a veterinarian for animal care or destruction purposes where required.

Obligation Imposed on a Person Under the Program

The following obligations may be imposed on a person who is an occupier of a place to which the Program relates:

  • Allow council's authorised persons (council officers) access to their property/ies to monitor for the presence of invasive biosecurity matter - invasive animals that are prohibited or restricted matter.
  • Allow council to take invasive biosecurity matter - invasive animals that are prohibited or restricted matter samples for further analysis.
  • The person must not interfere with access by council's authorised persons (council officers).
  • The person must provide reasonable help when requested by council's authorised persons (council officers) during the property inspection/s.
  • A copy of the Biosecurity Program is available for inspection during the period of the program at council's customer service centres.

A copy of the 6 September 2021 to 6 September 2022 program can be viewed in the minutes of council's Ordinary Meeting of 22 July 2021.

A copy of the 12 September 2022 to 11 September 2025 program can be viewed in the minutes of  council's Ordinary Meeting of 25 August 2022.

For more information please contact council.

Council has resolved to conduct a Biosecurity Program in accordance with Section 235 of the Biosecurity Act 2014, within the whole of the Sunshine Coast region to educate, monitor or issue biosecurity orders in relation to invasive biosecurity matter (prohibited or restricted invasive plants).

Emphasis will be placed on inspecting the localities of Balmoral Ridge, Diamond Valley, Beerwah, Bells Creek, Crohamhurst, North Maleny, Flaxton, Dulong, Eerwah Vale, Verrierdale, Belli Park, Peachester, Montville, Obi Obi and Mapleton, Doonan, Eumundi, Kureelpa, Maleny, Mt Mellum, Reeseville.

Properties over 4000 square metres will be inspected in the above localities on a proactive basis. Individual properties also previously known to harbour invasive biosecurity matter (prohibited or restricted invasive plants) will be surveyed for ongoing compliance.

This Biosecurity Program commenced 6 September 2021 and will continue until 5 September 2022.

The next Biosecurity Program will commence 12 September 2022 and continue until 11 September 2025.

The purpose and scope for the program is:
(a) monitoring compliance with the Act in relation to a particular matter to which the Act applies;
(b) confirming the presence, or finding out the extent of the presence, in the State or the parts of the State to which the program applies, of the biosecurity matter to which the program relates;
(c) confirming the absence, in the State or the parts of the State to which the program applies, of the biosecurity matter to which the program relates;
(d) monitoring the effects of measures taken in response to a biosecurity risk;
(e) monitoring compliance with requirements about prohibited matter or restricted matter;
(f) monitoring levels of biosecurity matter or levels of biosecurity matter in a carrier.

These inspections will be conducted on urban and rural properties within the Sunshine Coast. 

A copy of the 6 September 2021 to 5 September 2022 program can be viewed in the minutes of council's Ordinary Meeting of  22 July 2021.

A copy of the 12 September 2022 to 11 September 2025 program can be viewed in the minutes of council's Ordinary Meeting of 25 August 2022.

For more information please contact council.