Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988

The Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (FFG Act) is the key piece of Victorian legislation for the conservation of threatened species and communities and for the management of potentially threatening processes. To view or download the latest version of the FFG Act, visit Victorian Law Today.

The FFG Act places importance on prevention to ensure that more species do not become threatened in the future. The Act emphasises the importance of cooperative approaches to biodiversity conservation and recognises that all government agencies and the community need to participate in the conservation effort.  

The Act's objectives aim to conserve all of Victoria's native plants and animals. Discover more about the FFG Act below.

The flora and fauna conservation and management objectives, as outlined under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, are:

  1. to guarantee that all taxa of Victoria's flora and fauna …. can survive, flourish and retain their potential for evolutionary development in the wild
  2. to conserve Victoria's communities of flora and fauna
  3. to manage potentially threatening processes
  4. to ensure that any use of flora or fauna by humans is sustainable
  5. to ensure that the genetic diversity of flora and fauna is maintained
  6. to provide programs:
    1. of community education in the conservation of flora and fauna
    2. to encourage co-operative management of flora and fauna through, amongst other things, the entering into of land management co-operative agreements under the Conservation, Forests and Lands Act 1987
    3. of assisting and giving incentives to people, including landholders, to enable flora and fauna to be conserved
  7. to encourage the conserving of flora and fauna through co-operative community endeavours.

The FFG Act is supported by the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Regulations 2011. The Regulations were made on 6 December 2011 under section 69 of the FFG Act. The key elements of the Regulations are:

Schedule 1 - Listing Criteria for determining eligibility for listing established by the FFG Act (primary criteria) as well as guidelines for eligibility established by the Scientific Advisory Committee (sub-criteria).

Schedule 2 - Prescribed Information required by the FFG Act to be provided with nominations.

Schedule 3 – Forms, eg. notices, applications and certificates used under the FFG Act.

Visit Victorian Law Today for a current version of the Regulations.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) is the Australian Government’s key piece of environmental legislation. While the Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change has primary responsibility for environmental protection across the State, any action (eg. proposal or project) in Victoria that is likely to have a significant impact on a ‘matter of national environmental significance’ must be referred to the Department of the Environment and Energy under the EPBC Act to determine whether an action can proceed.

The Australian Government and all states and territories in Australia have agreed to establish a Common Assessment Method (CAM) for the assessment and listing of threatened species. The CAM will facilitate a nationally consistent approach to the listing of threatened species using IUCN categories and criteria and the alignment of threatened species lists across Australia into a Single Operational List.

Community involvement is a critical part of managing the state’s environment.  The government is committed to building strong and enduring partnerships to assist Victoria to meet the ongoing challenges associated with threatened species conservation.

We work together and facilitate collaboration and involvement with a broad range of partners and stakeholders across Victoria to develop policy and implement on-ground actions.  Key partners include:

  • Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy
  • Statutory authorities, eg. Parks Victoria, Melbourne Water, Environment Protection Authority, Catchment Management Authorities
  • State government agencies, eg. Department of Transport, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions
  • Local government
  • Industry groups, eg. Victorian Association of Forest Industries
  • Recovery teams
  • Education providers, eg. Zoos Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Museums Victoria
  • Non-government bodies, eg. Australian Conservation Foundation, Environment Defender’s Office, Victorian National Parks Association, Greening Australia, Trust for Nature
  • Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians
  • Community groups, eg. Conservation Volunteers Australia, Victorian Environment Friends Network, Landcare Victoria, Field Naturalists Club of Victoria, Birdlife Australia
  • Landowners
  • Scientific community
  • General community

Flora and Fauna Guarantee Amendment Act 2019

Amendments to the FFG Act were recently passed by the Victorian Parliament, and have received Royal Assent from the Governor of Victoria. The Flora and Fauna Guarantee Amendment Act 2019 (the Amendment Act) will amend the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 to provide for a modern and strengthened framework for the protection of Victoria’s biodiversity.

Please click on the drop down boxes below to read more about the Amendment Act.

The Flora and Fauna Guarantee Amendment Act 2019 (the Amendment Act) will amend the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 to provide for a modern and strengthened framework for the protection of Victoria’s biodiversity.

The Amendment Act:

  • Retains the FFG Act’s objective to ‘guarantee’ the future of Victoria’s flora and fauna and updates it to recognise the importance of flora and fauna adapting to environmental change;
  • Introduces principles to guide the implementation of the FFG Act, including consideration of the rights and interests of Traditional Owners and the impacts of climate change;
  • Requires consideration of biodiversity across government to ensure decisions and policies are made with proper consideration of the potential impacts on biodiversity;
  • Clarifies existing powers to determine critical habitat and improves their protection by encouraging cooperative management;
  • Gives effect to a consistent national approach to assessing and listing threatened species, the Common Assessment Method, which will reduce duplication of effort between jurisdictions and facilitate the monitoring and reporting of species’ conservation status; and
  • Modernises the FFG Act’s enforcement framework including stronger penalties.

The review of the FFG Act was informed by extensive stakeholder engagement across government and with Traditional Owners, industry, environmental nongovernment organisations and the broader community.

A public consultation paper was released in early 2017 and 210 written submissions were received. DELWP subsequently released a report summarising the submissions.

The amendments will take effect on 1 June 2020. The FFG Act continues to apply in its current form until that time.

The Amendment Act is the outcome of a comprehensive review of the FFG Act led by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

The review identified a range of reforms, which lead to the development and introduction into parliament of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Amendment Bill 2019.

The development of the Bill, and subsequent passage delivered on the Government’s 2014 commitment to review the FFG Act.

DELWP is developing a range of instruments to support the implementation of the reforms, including the preparation of new regulations, ministerial guidelines, templates and procedures.

The Bill as passed by Parliament, the Explanatory Memorandum, and the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change’s Second Reading Speech are available from the Victorian Parliament website.

More information about the review of the Act, including the public consultation paper and submission summary are available from the Engage Victoria website.

Page last updated: 02/03/20