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Reform of the Biodiscovery Act 2004 – options paper

Reform of the Biodiscovery Act 2004 (the Act) is vital to ensure Queensland’s biodiscovery framework keeps pace with international and industry developments. Modernising the Act will support the Queensland Government’s goals to attract new investment, encourage businesses to start and grow in Queensland, and ensure the benefits of biodiscovery are appropriately shared.

Reform is a critical step towards recognising the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with respect to resources and traditional knowledge used for biodiscovery. Reform is also important to ensure biodiscovery entities can meet international obligations regarding access to genetic resources and sharing the benefits resulting from their use.

The Queensland Government has released an options paper that builds on the 2016 Statutory Review of the Biodiscovery Act 2004, the Government Response, and feedback received through previous consultation.

Key areas of reform discussed in the options paper include:

  • the extent to which Queensland’s biodiscovery framework should be amended to be consistent with the Nagoya Protocol, including:

    • the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people regarding the use of their resources and traditional knowledge for biodiscovery,

    • the scope of the Act regarding private land, land with exclusive possession native title, and non-commercial research,

  • clarifying key terms in the Act that may currently cause confusion, such as the definition of commercialisation, and

  • improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the permitting and contractual framework.

The purpose of the options paper is to test options for reform with stakeholders and seek feedback.

Pathways to Reform: Biodiscovery Act 2004 - Options Paper

More information about the reform of the Biodiscovery Act 2004 and the options paper is available here.

Answer an online survey

  • Summary survey - Reform of the Biodiscovery Act 2004

    This survey focusses only on high level questions in the options paper and is suited to people who wish to comment on the main issues rather than answer detailed questions on each topic.

    This survey will take about 15 minutes to complete.

Written submissions

To comment on the options for reform you can:

  • email;

  • complete the survey at this website;

  • send us a voice or video-recording to or 0436 622 321. (This recording does not need to be high quality – for example, it can be made using your phone); or

  • post your response to the Biodiscovery Reform Team, Department of Environment and Science, PO BOX 2454, BRISBANE QLD 4001.

by midnight on Friday 1 February 2019.

The Queensland Government may publish submissions received. For voice or video recordings, a transcript of the recording may be published. Please state in your submission if you do not agree to publication of all or parts of your submission.

Comment now


Submit your response now. Closes 1 February 2019, 11.59pm.

Contact details

Last updated
 29 November 2018

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