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Report 178
Executive Summary
This report contains the Committee’s views on two treaty actions:
Amendments to Appendices I and II to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals; and
Acts of the Universal Postal Union adopted by the 26th Congress: Ninth Additional Protocol to the Constitution, First Additional Protocol to the General Regulations, Convention and Final Protocol, and Postal Payment Services Agreement and Final Protocol.
The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (called the Bonn Convention) is a multilateral convention intended to ensure consistent levels of protection of vulnerable migratory species across their entire ranges.
Migratory species that are in need of protection are listed in the Appendices of the Bonn Convention.
Australia is a range state for five of the species added to the Appendices of the Bonn Convention at the Conference of the Parties held in October 2017: the dusky shark; the blue shark; the white spotted wedgefish (known locally as the white spotted guitarfish); the Christmas Island frigatebird and the whaleshark.
Amendments to the Appendices of the Bonn Convention come into effect automatically unless a party to the Convention lodges a reservation.
The National Interest Analysis states that Australia will lodge reservations in relation to the dusky shark, the blue shark and the white-spotted wedgefish, which have been added to Appendix II of the Bonn Convention.
These reservations arise from an inconsistency between the Bonn Convention and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act), which would result in unintended consequences domestically should Australia fail to lodge reservations. The reservations will not prevent Australia from undertaking the necessary conservation measures in relation to these species.
The Committee acknowledges that, absent an appropriate amendment to the EPBC Act, there is no alternative for the Australian Government but to lodge reservations in relation to these species.
Australia will not lodge a reservation to the listing of the Christmas Island frigatebird or the whale shark, which have been included in Appendix I.
The Committee agrees that the treaty action is in the national interest. As the amendments to the Bonn Convention come into effect automatically and Australia’s reservations have already been lodged, the Committee does not need to make a recommendation in relation to this treaty action.
The Universal Postal Union is a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for formulating and setting the rules for the flow of international mail.
The Australian Government is proposing to ratify the amendments to the Constitution of the Universal Postal Union, the General Regulations, the Universal Postal Convention, the Final Protocol to the Convention, and the Postal Payment Services Agreement and Final Protocol, adopted by the 26th Congress of the Postal Union.
The documents adopted by the 26th Congress of the Postal Union reflect incremental refinement and improvement of the regulatory framework and operations of the international postal system.
The Committee supports the ratification of this treaty action.