A public consultation process inviting feedback on the the National Parks and Wildlife (Wildlife) Regulations commenced on 27 June 2016 and closed on 15 August 2016.
The proposed regulations were drafted after targeted consultation with approximately 160 people including permit holders, scientists, DEWNR staff and organisations who regularly operate under the Wildlife Regulations.
DEWNR is now close to finalising the draft Wildlife Regulations and therefore would like to provide an update on the process and next steps.
Summary of Feedback
During the public conulstation phase from July to August, 2016, 45 written submissions were received that included approximately 195 comments on the draft regulations.
YourSAy consultation - There were 67 respondents to the online survey, with a further 96 comments on the draft regulations for consideration.
While there were over 20 topics of conversation brought to our attention, the main discussion points were:
- Wildlife keeping schedules – suggestions on which protected native animals should be listed as exempt, basic or specialist.
- Draft regulation 33 - proposed definition of a business.
- The new proposed permits - revised permits, their descriptions and how they might impact on permit choice by our customers.
The range of responses and informative views raised through the consultation process required detailed consideration from the project team before the regulations could be progressed.
Following the formal consultation period, the department met with a range of animal trade and keeping representatives, ecologists and wildlife rehabilitators and carers to help resolve the issues raised in the feedback.
Some key areas of concern emerged from the consultation and the meetings. The Project Steering Committee has been working to balance the concerns of the wildlife keeping and caring community with the conservation and regulatory outcomes required by the legislation.
- Significant feedback was received regarding the proposed definition of an animal trading ‘business’ in the proposed Regulation 33(2).
In light of concerns that the proposed definition would impact unfairly on hobby keepers and breeders, regulation 33(2) has been removed. DEWNR is currently considering a less prescriptive alternative suggested through the consultation process.
- Little support was received for the proposed Class 9 Companion Animal Permit. With little uptake this proposal would impose an unnecessary administrative burden upon the department and permitting staff. As a result this permit has been removed.
- The wildlife keeping schedules have also been the subject of further consideration following feedback received. A number of changes have been made to the schedules as a result of your suggestions.
DEWNR is working with Parliamentary Counsel to settle the draft regulations. It is expected that the regulations will be finalised in mid-2017 with a start date of 1 July 2018.
The department is also developing an implementation plan to ensure a smooth transition to the new regulations. This will include:
- information packages for all existing permit holders to explain the regulation changes and what permit choices or changes may need to be made; and
- updates to the DEWNR website to provide information for existing and new users of the wildlife permit system.
As we get closer to the new regulations coming into operation we will continue to provide you further information as it becomes available here. A detailed consultation report, highlighting the decisions made in response to consultation feedback, will be produced once the regulations are settled.
If you have any questions about the proposed Wildlife Regulations 2017 or the next steps, please contact DEWNR via email at DEWNR.WildlifePolicy@sa.gov.au.