SEMP Animal, Plant, Marine and Environmental Biosecurity Sub-Plan


The Animal, Plant, Marine and Environmental Biosecurity Sub-Plan (‘the Plan’) provides an overview of the current arrangements for the management of biosecurity emergencies (excluding human health emergencies and non-Emergency Animal Disease wildlife emergencies) in Victoria and contains information on biosecurity mitigation, preparedness, response, relief and recovery.

Environmental biosecurity is inclusive of pests and diseases that may impact terrestrial and freshwater environments and ecosystems. The Plan reflects an integrated approach and shared responsibility for biosecurity management between government, agencies, industries, businesses and the community.

The Plan is consistent with national arrangements for biosecurity emergencies and with input from a range of other emergency management agencies. The Plan refers to a range of existing plans and documents but does not duplicate the information contained in these, instead providing directions to websites or other sources where the reader can obtain further information if required.

The Plan joins a suite of other hazard-specific plans as a sub-plan of the State Emergency Management Plan (SEMP).

Within the Emergency Management Act 2013 (External link), major biosecurity emergencies are classified as ‘Class 2’ emergencies. The SEMP identifies the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) as the Control Agency in Victoria for biosecurity incidents covering:

  • emergency animal diseases (including aquaculture)
  • emergency plant pests or diseases (including bees)
  • marine pests
  • vertebrate pests

The Plan does not cover emergency management activities that DEECA delivers as a Support Agency, such as emergency animal welfare relief or agricultural loss and damage assessment in Class 1 emergency responses. These activities are described in the Victorian Emergency Animal Welfare Plan and Victorian Agricultural Relief Plan. 

This is the first version of the Plan under the Emergency Management Act 2013, as amended by the Emergency Management Legislation Amendment Act 2018 (External link) in 2020. These arrangements are described at a point in time and there may be changes resulting from reviews and evaluations of exercises, biosecurity emergencies and ongoing reform in the Victorian emergency management sector. The next version of the Plan will incorporate these changes. 

This Plan was prepared by the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) prior to the 2022 Machinery of Government changes and therefore references DJPR as the Control Agency for the above biosecurity incidents. This Plan will be reviewed and updated every three years or as appropriate.

The Animal, Plant, Marine and Environmental Biosecurity Sub-Plan is expected to be updated in 2024. Any references to the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) in this sub-plan should be read as the DEECA as the Control Agency in Victoria for biosecurity incidents covering emergency animal diseases (including aquaculture), emergency plant pests or diseases (including bees), marine pests and vertebrate pests.

This Plan has been endorsed by the State Crisis and Resilience Council (SCRC) as a sub-plan to the SEMP.


The objective of biosecurity is to minimise adverse impacts of pests and diseases on Australia’s economy, environment and the community while facilitating trade. Effective biosecurity is essential to the ongoing health of Victoria’s agricultural production, community, economy and environment.

Updates to the SEMP following 2022 Machinery of Government changes

Responsible Control and Support Agencies for Response have been updated in Tables 9 and 10 of the SEMP to reflect the Machinery of Government changes introduced in December 2022. SEMP Role Statements are currently being reviewed to reflect these Machinery of Government changes and are expected to be updated by December 2023.

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