The Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Committee’s (ENRRDC) final report on the Inquiry into the control of invasive animals on Crown land was tabled in Parliament on 20 June 2017.
Further information on the Inquiry can be found on the ENRRDC website.
The ENRRDC made thirty-three recommendations about control of invasive animals on Crown Land in Victoria.
DELWP coordinated the government response to the recommendations, in collaboration with the Department of Premier and Cabinet, the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Victoria Police, the Game Management Authority and Parks Victoria.
The government’s response addresses each recommendation made by the ENRRDC in its final report. The government supports the Committee’s findings that invasive animals are a significant problem in Victoria, and the recognition that the management of invasive animals is a complex issue. The government welcomes the identification of potential improvements in the way invasive animals are managed on Crown land.
Questions and Answers
Invasive animals can be found in all terrestrial and aquatic environments in Victoria, with many expanding in number and distribution across Victoria. Invasive animals damage the environment, hurt agricultural businesses and reduce liveability, and their management is critical to biodiversity, the economy and to community health and wellbeing. Evidence suggests that the impacts of invasive animals are becoming worse in many parts of Victoria.
Invasive animals also have a significant impact on private land, where they can damage property, kill livestock and consume pasture and crops. The responsibility for managing invasive species in Victoria is shared by public and private land managers.
In April 2016, in accordance with the Parliamentary Committees Act 2003, the Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Committee (ENRRDC) launched an Inquiry into the control of invasive animals on Crown land in Victoria. In July 2016, the community were invited to provide input into the Inquiry for the consideration of the Committee in forming their findings and recommendations.
The ENRRDC’s final report on the Inquiry into the control of invasive animals on Crown land was tabled in Parliament on 20 June 2017. The report included 33 recommendations for the Victorian Government to consider to improve the control of invasive species on Crown land in Victoria.
The Victorian Government has accepted 29 of the 33 recommendations contained in the Inquiry’s final report, with one recommendation under review.
The Government does not support three recommendations, which are:
- Recommendation 16: which requires that the Victorian Government consult with Victoria Police in relation to recreational hunters having access to category C and D firearms to facilitate greater invasive animal and pest control. The decision not to support this recommendation is in line with the National Firearms Agreement (NFA). The NFA ensures national consistency in the regulation of firearms and firearm parts and was agreed to with amendments in February 2017 by the Council of Australian Governments.
- Recommendation 17: which requires Victoria Police consider including recreational hunters participating in co‑ordinated invasive animal control programs within the categories of people eligible to obtain noise suppressors. Victoria Police does not support the use of noise suppressors (silencers) by recreational hunters unless genuine need and reason can be demonstrated by an applicant. In general terms, a recreational hunter would not meet the requirements to be issued a permit as they are usually restricted to occupation and are assessed on a case by case basis.
- Recommendation 26: which requires that the Government include both invasive animals and ‘native pests’ within one strategy that applies across all land types. The Government does not consider it appropriate to manage native wildlife and invasive (pest) animals under one government strategy, as there are clear differences in the policy and legislative arrangements for their management.
- Recommendation 13: which requires that the Victorian Government provide the Game Management Authority with additional resources to manage an increase in recreational hunting, specifically additional authorised Game Officers to improve the in-field monitoring of hunters. The Government will undertake further work to determine if any additional resources may be required.
The Government has the following recommendation under review:
The Government will ensure that appropriate actions are taken to implement the recommendations to the extent they have been accepted in the government’s response. The agencies involved in the development of the government’s response will be responsible for prioritising the delivery of recommendations. Decisions about resourcing to implement these recommendations will be subject to budget processes in the context of the government’s investment and service delivery priorities.