Wildlife regulations due for review
The Wildlife Regulations that provide for the protection and management of wildlife in Tasmania are now due for review and remaking. The review is being run by the Natural and Cultural Heritage Division and AgriGrowth Tasmania within the Department of Primary Industries, Parks Water and Environment (the Department).
The Wildlife Regulations are made under the Nature Conservation Act 2002
. They regulate the taking, possession and trading of wildlife and wildlife products, hunting, wildlife exhibition and display, and deer farming. There are three Wildlife Regulations, which, by law, are due to expire on 30 November 2021 (was 30 November 2020)*:
This review provides an important opportunity for us to review the workings of the current regulations, explore options for improvements, as well as to consider the scope for accommodating any emerging or future regulatory needs.
We acknowledge the wide-ranging diversity of stakeholder interest that exists across the matters managed by the Wildlife Regulations. Our staff are currently working with a broad range of specialists from within Government, industry and interest groups, to facilitate the review process. All stakeholders and the broader Tasmanian community will have the opportunity to be involved and have their say when draft new Wildlife Regulations are provided for public consultation and comment in 2021.
* The COVID-19 Pandemic has disrupted the review project which meant that the review and remaking of the Wildlife Regulations were unlikely to be completed prior to the Regulations' expiration. In response, the Wildlife Regulations have been extended by 12 months under Section 25 of the
COVID-19 Disease Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020 to allow for adequate stakeholder consultation. However, it is anticipated that the review and remaking will be complete by mid-2021.
There are four key phases to support the remaking of the Wildlife Regulations:
1. Review Regulations
Actions: Seek advice from industry and internal experts and interest groups on issues with current Wildlife Regulations, review existing practices for regulatory consistency and identify commonsense improvements
2. Draft Regulations
Actions: Draft new Wildlife Regulations in late 2020/early 2021
3. Consult Community
Actions: Publicly release draft Wildlife Regulations for comment
4. Finalise Regulations
Actions: Incorporate community feedback into new Wildlife Regulations; table re-made regulations in Parliament
What is happening now?
Phase 2: Drafting of Amendment Regulation (October 2020 - current)
We are currently working with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel to develop the new draft regulations. These are being developed based on the information and advice provide during our review process (Phase 1). We are expecting that we will be able to release the draft regulations for public comment in the first part of 2021. The feedback received will in turn shape and improve the final regulations.
What have we done so far?
Phase 1: Review of Regulations
The review of the regulations has considered the rules we have, how well they are working and how they may need to change to work more effectively.
We have engaged with industry experts and advocacy groups to seek their advice; examined existing practices for regulatory consistency and identified a range of common-sense improvements.
We have used the advice provided, and examples from other Australian jurisdictions, to complete the review and form the basis to draft new Wildlife Regulations.
There are many user groups affected by the Wildlife Regulations. We sought feedback to be gathered into topics that reflected these groups, and prepared information sheets on these topics (see below).
These information sheets briefly describe specific elements of the regulations and include some matters that have been raised by various stakeholders since the Regulations were last reviewed in 2009. They do not represent the views of the Department. They were used solely to consult with industry experts and advocacy groups to help explore how the regulations could potentially be improved.
The following matters are outside the scope of this review:
- Review of or amendments to the Nature Conservation Act 2002
- Development of or amendment to associated Codes of Practice, Guidelines and/or Management Plans
- Amendments to the species listed in Schedules 1 – 7A of the Wildlife Regulations.
Also outside the scope of the review are issues that are managed through related but separate pieces of legislation including (but not limited to):
Threatened Species Protection Act 1995
Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995
Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994
Aboriginal Heritage Act 1975, Primary Produce Safety Act 2011
Animal Welfare Act 1993
Crown Lands Act 1976, and
National Parks and Reserves Management Act 2002
What is wildlife?Under the
Nature Conservation Act 2002, wildlife means any living creature other than:
a dog or cat
fish, within the meaning of the
Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995
any farmed emu.
4. Cultural Activities of Tasmanian Aboriginal Communities
Wildlife Regulation Review Infosheet - Cultural Activities of Tasmanian Aboriginal Communities
Topics include commercial muttonbirding, cultural hunts or harvests, cultural products of wildlife.
6. Caring for wildlife
Wildlife Regulation Review Infosheet - Caring for Wildlife
Topics include caring for injured or orphaned wildlife, and managing potential adverse impacts of human interaction with wildlife.
8. Offences and Penalties
Wildlife Regulation Review Infosheet - Offences and Penalties
Topics include formal actions that may be necessary to ensure the effectiveness of the Wildlife Regulations, such as the five-year ban, cancellation of permits or licenses and rules relating to seizing wildlife or equipment.