Review of Biological Agents of Security Concern

The Security Sensitive Biological Agents (SSBA) Regulatory Scheme Review of Biological Agents of Security Concern.

Page last updated: 11 March 2016

The Review of Biological Agents of Security Concern

The Department of Health has recently completed a Review of Biological Agents of Security Concern (the Review) with a view to determining if any changes should be made to the List of SSBAs. The review assessed the current security risk and health impacts of biological agents that have the potential to be used in a terrorist or criminal act within Australia. A consultation report was produced in late 2015 and a consultation period on the review ran from 1 November 2015 to 18 December 2015.

Removal of Salmonella Typhi and Vibrio cholerae

The primary outcome of the Review was that Salmonella Typhi and Vibrio cholerae are no longer of a security risk level that requires regulation under the SSBA Regulatory Scheme.

On 9 March 2016 the Minister for Health approved the variation of the List of SSBAs to remove these two agents and from 14 March 2016 S. Typhi and V. cholerae will no longer be subject to regulation under the NHS Act.

Influenza A virus

The consultation report proposed that the nomenclature for the SSBA listing for influenza virus be altered and changes made to the Notes associated with influenza A virus to increase clarity as to when a strain is subject to security regulation. Details of the proposed changes can be found in the Consultation Report (below).

Feedback from consultations highlighted that agreement could not be reached as to the best way forward and the final report recommends that the current listing for influenza A virus remains unchanged while further consultation with influenza and security experts is undertaken. Depending on the outcomes of this work, the SSBA Regulatory Scheme may conduct a further public consultation round prior to a request to the Minster for Health to vary the list of SSBAs in relation to influenza. It is anticipated that this work, and any associated changes, will be completed by mid-to late-2016.

The final Report on the Review of Biological Agents of Security Concern is available below.

Final Report - Review of Biological Agents of Security Concern

Consultation Report