Who can make a nomination?

Any person or organisation can nominate an item to the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) for addition to or deletion from the Threatened List  or the Processes List. Incorporated bodies can nominate in their own right because they are a legal "person", but should lodge a nomination under the signature of an appropriate office-bearer or other contact person.

Unincorporated bodies must provide a contact person as the legal nominator on the group's behalf.

The contact person's phone number should be supplied if possible, because a nomination can be more easily discussed by phone than by letter. Nominations must be signed by the individual nominator or the contact person. If there are two nominators, both must sign or the nomination will be rejected.

Where should it be sent?

The Act includes a legal requirement that a nomination must be made in writing and must be addressed to:

Executive Officer, Scientific Advisory Committee
Land Fire and Environment
Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning (DEWLP)
PO Box 500 East Melbourne 3002

DEWLP has prepared nomination templates in Microsoft Word 1997 format to assist nominators.

Nomination template for taxa  (DOC, 24.0 KB)
Nomination template for communities (DOC, 24.5 KB)
Nomination template for processes (DOC, 23.5 KB)

Has the item already been nominated?

More than 860  nominations have been submitted to date, so it's best to check that your nomination hasn't already been listed.

Contact the Executive Officer, Scientific Advisory Committee, on 03 9637 9869 to make sure you're not needlessly duplicating someone else's work .

Lodging a nomination

The SAC meets approximately four times a year. You may be required to wait up to three months before your nomination is considered, dependent on meeting schedule and when you submit your nomination.

Any person or organisation wishing to nominate an item is encouraged to do so prior to the next scheduled SAC meeting. Dates of meetings can be found here.

Make a good case

A nomination needs to be well-researched and presented before it can be considered by the SAC.  You will also need to present sound evidence in support of the nomination..

Nature conservation matters only

The Act states that only nature conservation matters can be taken into account by the Scientific Advisory Committee in making its recommendations.

Economic, cultural, social, management or any other issues are not considered by the SAC or the Minister in deciding whether a taxon, community or potentially threatening process should be added to or removed from the list.

The listing process focuses solely on the nominated item. It is not a development approval or project assessment process like that provided by the assessment process of the Environment Effects Act 1978, or the protected flora or fauna permit processes of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and the Wildlife Act 1975 .

Even though a particular development might pose a serious threat to a local occurrence of a taxon or ecological community, this is not relevant to listing unless the taxon or community is threatened Victoria-wide with extinction.

SAC can supplement nomination

The SAC is free to supplement any nomination with additional information gathered by other nominators, the SAC's staff or referees. With the nominator's approval, the SAC may fill in minor gaps or correct small errors of presentation in the nomination. However, if a nomination has major omissions, it may be returned to the nominator with a request for additional information. Without adequate information, it is unlikely that the SAC will be able to recommend in favour of the nomination.

Information which must be included

The FFG Act requires that a nomination should include a minimum amount of information, known as 'prescribed information '. Nominations without this information may be rejected by the SAC as invalid. This requirement is intended to prevent delays in processing nominations. The prescribed information determined by the Scientific Advisory Committee and included in Schedule 2 of the FFG Regulations is:

  • Nominator's name, address and contact telephone number
  • Nominator's signature
    The signature of each person making the nomination or the appointed representative of the nominator. If more than one person is making the nomination, all must sign.
    This information will normally remain confidential. Please indicate whether you wish your identity as a private individual to be kept confidential in case requests relating to your nomination are received under the Freedom of Information Act.
  • Identification of the nominated item
    For a new taxon, at least one specimen should be lodged with a recognised scientific institution (e.g. a new species of plant should be lodged with the National Herbarium, and a new insect species at the Museum of Victoria). This is necessary because it is possible that an item may be nominated as a new taxon, but then turn out to be a variant of a common taxon.
    For a community, a statement of identification is required. The statement must specify the community according to a relevant text or reference, or it must describe the community in such a way that it is distinguished from all other communities in the State. The description should include reference to the community's identifying biological and physical characteristics and, if known to the nominator, the determining biological or non-biological components, environmental features or processes. Where possible, avoid using a geographic name in the community's name, as this can lead to a perception that the site is more important than the actual community type, which may occur in several localities, not just the named one. Preferable wording is "the community of flora and fauna characterised by species X, Y, and Z", and a shorter nickname can be provided.
    For a potentially threatening process, a statement of identification is required. The statement must specify the potentially threatening process in accordance with a relevant text or reference or it must describe the potentially threatening process in such a way that it is distinguishable from all other potentially threatening processes. A potentially threatening process must be defined as a process and not as a cause or a symptom of a process. (e.g. "Soil disturbance caused by mining" could be nominated as a threatening process. "Mining" would not be nominated because it is the cause of the threatening process, not the process itself.)  
  • Supporting evidence
    The nomination must also indicate:
  • the range of flora or fauna (i.e. two or more species or a community) affected or potentially affected
  • the significance of the threat which the potentially threatening process poses or has the potential to pose
  • evidence to support eligibility for listing in or removal from the Threatened List or the Processes List
  • the criterion or criteria that the nominator believes to be satisfied
  • evidence to show how the nominated item satisfies the criterion or criteria.

  • For removal from the list, evidence must be provided to show that the item does not satisfy the criteria for listing.
    If a taxon below the sub-species level or a narrowly defined community is being nominated, then in addition to evidence showing that a relevant primary criterion is satisfied, a statement of evidence of a special nature conservation need to conserve the item should also be included.
    If a taxon below the sub-species level or a narrowly defined community is being nominated, then in addition to evidence showing that a relevant primary criterion is satisfied, a statement of evidence of a special nature conservation need to conserve the item should also be included.

Invalid Nominations

The Scientific Advisory Committee may reject a listing nomination as being invalid if:

  • the subject of the nomination is already listed
  • the nomination is vexatious; if, for example -
  • the subject of the nomination is not normally considered to be indigenous to Victoria
  • the subject of the nomination is extinct (i.e. known only from fossil evidence) or does not exist
  • the nominator acts in a mischievous or silly fashion e.g. constantly re-nominating the same item without adequate evidence.
  • the nomination is not accompanied by the minimum required information, i.e. the "prescribed information" which is specified in Schedule 2 of the Regulations.

Points to Remember

Nominations for taxa or communities should provide information to demonstrate that the taxon or community is threatened with extinction in Victoria.

The FFG Act refers to "decline" and "extinction" in Victoria only. The status of an item elsewhere in Australia is not relevant to the listing procedures of the FFG Act, although it can have a bearing on management strategies.

Nominations must deal with the state-wide distribution of an item. If a taxon or community is locally rare but common elsewhere in the State, then it may not be eligible for listing. For example, a particular orchid species may be extremely rare on the Mornington Peninsula, but would not normally be eligible for listing if it was common and secure elsewhere in Victoria. If, however, the Mornington Peninsula population represents an identifiable taxon such as a variety or form below the sub-species level which is threatened, then it may be eligible for listing, provided there is a special nature conservation need to conserve it.

Potentially threatening processes which do not operate throughout the State may be eligible for listing if overall they pose a significant threat to the survival of a range of flora or fauna.

Nominations should not be site-specific. The taxon, community or potentially threatening process should be defined by its biological characteristics and if known, its environmental characteristics; it shouldn't be described simply in terms of one isolated population (unless of course only one population exists in the State). An area of remnant bushland, however valuable at a regional level, may not be eligible for listing if it is of a type that is fairly widespread and not threatened state-wide.

When producing evidence, always state your source of information correctly and in detail. In the case of unpublished evidence, if you are the main authority for the subject, please provide the name of a referee who can vouch for your standing and authority. If in your nomination you are quoting information that has been given to you by an experienced person (i.e. a personal communication, often referred to in scientific articles as "pers. comm."), please indicate who they are and their standing as an authority. Quoting "Smith (pers. comm.)" is insufficient if the Scientific Advisory Committee doesn't know who "Smith" is.

Please make every effort to ensure that the scientific name used for a nominated taxon is the correct one, and that it is spelt correctly. Refer to the list of useful references for assistance.

A taxon below the sub-species level (e.g. a race or variety) or a narrowly defined community may only be eligible for listing if there is a special nature conservation need to conserve the item. Evidence of this need must be stated in the nomination.