Critics Are Mad At NSW’s Proposal To Remove Protections For Native Wildlife

Opponents of the New South Wales Government’s new biodiversity bill are kicking up a massive stink over legislation they claim could spark the widespread and largely unregulated killing of native wildlife. 

The legislation, which looks to be introduced to Parliament a little later this month, outlines the removal of several components of the current system. Most notably, critics reckon the move will remove protections for a slew of animals, including kangaroos, cockatoos, wombats, wallabies and emus. 

Currently, only a strict number of native animals are allowed to be killed in the state each year. Licences are offered reflecting that number, and licence-holders are required to report back with tallies of how many animals they’ve killed. 

The new Biodiversity Conservation Act calls for those licences and associated counts to be scrapped. 

The reasoning? To cut down on bureaucratic red tape in the department, allowing farmers and other land-holders to act as they see fit without slamming the Office of Environment & Heritage with application forms and tallies.
Instead, the Office is basically looking to set up a system based on risk to local biodiversity.

Killing galahs, ravens, crows, and a slew of other somewhat-pesty animals? Low risk, so no licence required. Go wild.

Looking to harvest roos for meat on a commercial scale? Medium risk, so that’ll come under a new set of guidelines.

Trading in rarer reptiles and deadset endangered critters? High risk, so expect more rules there too. 

A spokesperson for the state’s Environment Minister contended those planned rules might actually strengthen protections for at-risk flora and fauna, but Shadow Minister for Environment & Heritage Penny Sharpe reckons the proposal “basically means that being able to harm and kill native wildlife will be allowed in many places with no oversight.”

“These proposals declare open season on the killing of native animals across NSW.”

New South Wales’ Royal Zoological Society has also issued a searing statement on the legislation. According to them, not only will the state “abandon global-standard wildlife management practice” should the legislation pass, but the government will “almost certainly miss the species that are sliding towards threatened status” due to the lack of tallies.
We already eat the animals on our Coat of Arms, but if opponents of the bill are to be believed, we could also soon be killing ’em on a much larger scale.