Technical Officer

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia

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Job Posted: 11/09/2018

Job Category:

Science & Technology / Environmental

Job description:
  • APS Level 5 (Policy & Technical) - $72,743 - $78,421
  • Canberra, A.C.T - 7 London Circuit, Canberra City ACT 2601
  • Contact Officer: Stephen Malone (02) 6272 3998

The Biosecurity Animal Division works with Australian industries, governments and the community to strengthen Australia’s animal disease prevention, preparedness and response capabilities. The division works to maintain and enhance trade and market access for animals and animal products by undertaking risk analyses for the import of live animals and animal genetic material, and assessing applications to import those products. The division also provides scientific and technical support and undertakes negotiations to gain, maintain and improve access for the export of Australian animals and their genetic material.

The Animal and Biological Imports Branch implements biosecurity policies to allow for the safe movement of animals, animal products (including aquatic animals and their products) and genetic material into Australia. The activities of the branch include the provision of technical advice to staff, importers and stakeholders, development and publishing of import conditions, instructional material and other guidance material and assessing import permit applications and issuing import permits.

The Commodity Assurance and Seafood Imports Team monitors existing biosecurity import policies and conditions to ensure they remain effective in managing biosecurity risks. Verification work includes analysing trade, importer behaviour and risk profiling of commodity pathways. The team also plays a vital role in implementing and managing biosecurity arrangements for imported prawns, fish and other seafood products.

The Jobs
As a Technical Officer in the Animal and Biological Imports Branch you will work with a dedicated group of officers who are committed to maintaining and improving Australia’s biosecurity system. The successful candidates will need to enjoy working in fast-paced and changing work environments, display initiative, have sound judgement, and deliver quality work within tight deadlines. Key duties include:

1. Under limited guidance, analysis of trade and import data for animal and biological products to identify emerging biosecurity risks across import supply chains.
2. Undertaking biosecurity regulatory functions including assessing import permit applications for animal and biological products.
3. Contributing to the design and execution of commodity assurance and verification activities and the preparation of associated reports.
4. Assisting with the reviewing and updating of technical work instructions for operational staff within the department undertaking frontline biosecurity related functions.
5. Preparing changes to the department’s import conditions database (BICON) and other online material.
6. Providing sound technical advice to importers, operational staff within the department and other stakeholders on biosecurity clearance issues associated with animal and biological product imports.
7. Assisting with the preparation of briefings, reports and correspondence.

Please note that this recruitment process is being used to fill both ongoing and non-ongoing positions. Non-ongoing positions will be offered for an initial period of 6 months. A merit pool will be formed as a result of this recruitment process and there is the opportunity for other sections of the organisation to draw successful applicants from this process to fill roles of a similar nature.

Knowledge and experience
Knowledge or previous experience in any of the following would be advantageous:

• Collating and analysing complex data.
• An understanding of Australia’s biosecurity system.
• Working in busy technical and operational environments.

Skills and capabilities
Successful applicants will work as a member of a small team and possess the following skills and capabilities:

• Demonstrated ability to undertake analysis of complex information.
• Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with a range of internal and external stakeholders including importers, overseas organisations and staff within the department.
• Well-developed written and verbal communication skills.
• Demonstrated ability to use judgement and manage competing priorities within tight deadlines.
• Attention to detail with a focus on producing high quality and accurate work.
• Demonstrated ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

Mandatory qualifications
A tertiary qualification in a relevant area of biological, agricultural or environmental science or data analytics is mandatory.

Eligibility/Other requirements
To be eligible for employment with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, an applicant must be an Australian citizen. An applicant's suitability for employment with the department will be assessed through a pre-employment screening process. This process includes a requirement for the applicant to undergo and satisfy a National Police Check, referee checks, character clearance and where relevant a pre-employment medical assessment, specified mandatory qualification(s) validation and a probation period of 6 months. Any applicant that, in the course of their work, requires unescorted access within an aviation or maritime security zone will be required to obtain and maintain an Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC) or Maritime Security Identification Card (MSIC).

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