This submission is a response to the invitation by the Victorian Government to provide feedback on the Independent Review of the Wildlife Act 1975.
The Invasive Species Council welcomes the review of Victoria’s Wildlife Act. The Act is now seriously outdated, reflects some obsolete principles of what constitutes wildlife and no longer meets the contemporary requirements to effectively protect Victoria’s precious wildlife.
The Invasive Species Council recognises that there are a wide range of issues that require review and support the principles of:
- Recognising the need to protect wildlife at the habitat and landscape scale.
- Stricter control around unprotecting indigenous wildlife and issuing of authorities to control wildlife to avoid unnecessary destruction and exploitation of indigenous wildlife.
- A modernised enforcement and compliance regime.
- The Office of the Conservation Regulator being given a statutory role with legislative force independent of DELWP.
- Regulations and penalties that reflect community attitudes to the seriousness of wildlife crime.
- Recognises the role of Traditional Owners in wildlife traditional use and conservation.
Given the focus of the Invasive Species Council is to keep Australian biodiversity safe from weeds, feral animals, exotic pathogens and other invaders we will focus our detailed comments to the association between the Wildlife Act and exotic animals, in particular feral deer.