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What is the WA Biodiscovery Bill?

The WA Biodiscovery Bill has been developed to regulate biodiscovery activities using WA genetic resources such as WA native flora and fauna. This includes plants, animals, things that come from animals like venom, and microorganisms.

Biodiscovery can have a non-commercial or a commercial purpose.

It aims to create a framework or process to enable Traditional Owners to be consulted and share in benefits when their knowledge is commercialised.


Why is it needed?

At present there is no law in WA to protect natural resources or knowledge from being used in activities, or products being developed that make money for others.

A law on the use of knowledge and resources is intended to set up a system to

  • protect the interests of the State, and
  • give rights to Traditional Owners to control the use of their knowledge in biodiscovery activities and commercialisation of it.

 How you can be involved and why you should be.

This Bill will impact how your knowledge is protected and managed. Your input is needed on how this is done.

The Traditional Knowledge Code of Practice may include guidance for things like:

  •  Identifying Traditional Knowledge Custodians;
  •  Obtaining free, prior and informed consent;
  •  Benefit sharing on mutually agreed terms, including when traditional knowledge is held by multiple groups; and
  •  Acknowledging and using traditional knowledge.

When did consultation on the Bill start?

  • Phase 1 of consultation to seek stakeholders’ views on key concepts and mechanisms within the Bill. This happened in August – December 2022.
  • Examine the responses from phase 1 of the consultation and develop proposals based on what was said. This happened in January – March 2023.
  • Phase 2 of consultation to test the proposals with stakeholders. This occurred in April – May 2023.
  • Responses from phase 2 of the consultation were reviewed and drafting the Bill based on the findings commenced from June 2023 onwards.

Where is consultation up to now?

  •  Phase 3 of consultation to develop supporting resources for biodiscovery proponents and Aboriginal people for the use of traditional knowledge, for example a Traditional Knowledge Code of Practice or equivalent. This is currently planned to commence in early 2024.

To provide your views on the Bill, complete this form on the the Department's website, so the Department can contact you. 

Or contact the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation directly-

Biodiscovery Bill


Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation

Level 11, 1 William Street



61 8 6277 3050


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Additional details can be found on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation website, here