We are now recruiting
We are looking for people who care about keeping Australia free of damaging pests and diseases.
As a Biosecurity Officer, you will make a valuable contribution to Australia’s agricultural, fisheries, food and forestry industries, and help protect our unique natural environment.
This video details the various roles and duties a Biosecurity Officer might undertake. A transcript is also available.
Biosecurity officers play an important role in supporting Australia's import and export systems. As a biosecurity officer you help to safeguard Australia from the introduction of unwanted pests and diseases.
In the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, biosecurity officers ensure organisations meet their legal obligations. Officers are an integral part of the department and contribute to the department’s purpose of enhancing Australia’s agriculture, unique environment and heritage and water resources. Biosecurity is critical to maintaining market access for exports, maintaining our high emergency response standards, protecting Australia's natural resources, and assisting in the development of strong agricultural industries.
The department’s Biosecurity Operations Division takes a regulatory approach by implementing effective border controls. The division has defined pathways including cargo, mail, conveyances (such as vessels and aircraft) and travellers. Border controls include, but are not limited to, inspection, assessment, animal husbandry services and physical contact centres.
There are a variety of biosecurity officer roles which are all essential to protecting Australia against biosecurity threats.
Our biosecurity officers assess import documents to ensure imported goods meet the department’s regulatory requirements. Officers assess importers' documentary evidence. Importers bring in a range of commodities including food, plants, and live animals, just to name a few.
Biosecurity officers in our contact centres respond to a diverse range of enquiries from the public and from industry groups. These officers are also responsible for addressing industry requests to have goods inspected and to schedule inspections.
In the cargo pathway, biosecurity officers inspect imported goods and undertake surveillance and assurance activities. They work at airports, seaports, mail centres, in-office locations and other premises across Australia and offshore territories. These officers inspect a variety of commodities each day. This includes everything from wooden products, air and sea containers, imported foods, machinery, used vehicles, fresh produce, through to personal items. Officers may also be required to inspect ballast water and bulk holds on arriving vessels.
In the traveller and mail pathways, biosecurity officers process travellers and crew arriving by air and sea. These officers also inspect incoming mail and air cargo shipments utilising detector dogs, x-rays and manual inspections.
In the Post Entry Quarantine facility, biosecurity officers undertake assessment, inspection and post-entry quarantine for animals and plants including live birds and hatching eggs, plants, bees, cats, dogs, horses and ruminants. These officers support and educate importers in meeting legislative requirements and reducing biosecurity risks associated with live animal imports.
As a biosecurity officer working for our department, you will be given extensive classroom and in-field training. You’ll learn about interpreting and applying legislation to your work, understanding and using departmental systems and electronic decision support tools, assessing commercial and other types of documentation, appropriate inspection techniques, and important behavioural attributes such as Integrity and Work Health and Safety.
The work of a biosecurity officer is a critical part of the Australian Government's efforts to minimise, respond to and recover from pests and diseases that threaten Australia’s economy and environment. The regulatory decisions our biosecurity officers make has a positive impact on the livelihood of Australians and will provide benefits for generations to come.
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Who we are looking for
If you enjoy working as part of a team and want to help safeguard Australia’s natural resources and agriculture, a career as a Biosecurity Officer may interest you.
We are looking for people from diverse backgrounds and encourage people from all walks of life to apply.
You could be a great fit if you are:
- inquisitive and curious
- focused with great attention to detail
- decisive, in line with legislation, with the ability to notice things others may not
- committed to demonstrating the highest levels of integrity
- professional and people focused
- keen to learn and be part of an organisation that will help you develop and grow.
What to expect
On any given day you might find yourself:
- assessing documents for imported or exported commodities
- inspecting people, goods, aircraft and vessels to safeguard Australia’s biosecurity and export markets
- managing items that don’t comply with our biosecurity legislation
- representing us as a regulator, upholding and explaining policies to industry, travellers or stakeholders
- answering questions and providing advice about biosecurity risk items such as food, meat and plant material.
Watch the video on this page to learn more about specific roles and duties.
What’s in it for you
As well as usual benefits, you’ll enjoy:
- a career that is challenging and rewarding, with variety and a real sense of responsibility
- the opportunity to grow your career in a large and diverse organisation
- training, development and support to succeed
- the opportunity to make a difference every day.
Positions are currently available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Cairns, Mackay, Gladstone, Gold Coast and Townsville. Dog handling roles are available in Sydney and Melbourne.
If you are interested in dog handling roles, apply through the biosecurity officer positions. We will ask you to express your interest in the role during the selection process.
Applications close at 11:00 PM (AEST) on 9 January 2022. Follow the links of more information on this position: