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Announcement of the wildlife protection (regulation of exports and imports)



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EMBARGOED U N T I L D E L I V E R Y

ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE W I L D L I F E P R OT ECT I ON

( R E G U L A T I O N OF EXPORTS AND I M P O R T S )

ACT 1 9 8 2

BY THE

HON. BARRY COHEN M - P .

M I N I S T E R FOR HOME A F F A I R S AND EN VI RONMEN T

' 9 . 3 0 am TUESDAY 1 MAY 1984

P ARL I AMENT HOUSE

CANBERRA

EMBARGOED U N T I L D E L I V E R Y

W i th the s h r i n k i n g of wi l d e r n e s s a r e a s , people nowx

RECOGNISE THE PLIGHT OF THE INCREASING NUMBER OF SPECIES

BORDERING ON EXTINCTION AND THE THREAT POSED TO THEM BY

THE GROWING INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN WILDLIFE-

C ommerci al e x p l o i t a t i o n of w i l d l i f e has now reached m a s s i v e

PROPORTIONS, PLACING PLANT AND ANIMAL SPECIES AT EVER

GREATER RISK-

B ecause of i n t e r n a t i o n a l concern at the m a g n i t u d e of t h i s

TRADE AND THE THREAT IT POSES TO THE GLOBAL HERITAGE OF

WILD PLANTS AND ANIMALS, 86 COUNTRIES HAVE JOINED TOGETHER

AS PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN

E ndangered S pecies of W i ld F auna and F lora (CI TES).

U nder the C o n v e n t i o n , s p e c i e s in need of p r o t e c t i o n are

i d e n t i f i e d and p o l i c i e s are adopted to control or ban

trade i n s p e c i e s of fauna and flora t hre a t e ne d w i t h

e x t i n c t i o n or which could become t hreatene d w i t h e x t i n c t i o n

BY UNCONTROLLED TRADE -

I t i s noteworthy that C I T I E S does not see the R ed and

the E astern and W estern G rey kangaroos as t h r e a t e n e d -

I n 1 9 7 3 , A u s t r a l i a played an i mp orta nt role i n d e v e l o p i n g

the C onventi on and has c o n s i s t e n t l y supported strong

measures to protect s p e c i e s w h i l s t a l l o wi n g for the

RATIONAL UTILISATION OF WILDLIFE WHERE THIS DOES NOT

JEOPARDISE THE SURVIVAL OF THE SPECIES-

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A u s t r a l i a became a party to C I T E S i n 1 9 7 6 upon the

PROMULGATION OF THE CUSTOMS ( ENDANGERED SPECIES)

R e g u l a t i o n s . ■

M ost k i n d s of A u s t r a l i a n plants and a n i m a l s occur nowhere

ELSE IN THE WORLD· BECAUSE OF THEIR UNIQUENESS, SCIENTIFIC

INTEREST, CURIOSITY VALUE AND OFTEN UNSURPASSED BEAUTY

THEY ARE PRIME TARGETS FOR THE ILLEGAL TRADE IN WILDLIFE·

A u s t r a l i a n concerns for w i l d l i f e a r i s e on three co un t s ;

1 · T he need to protect endangered s p e c i e s ,

2· T he need to prevent s p e c i e s becoming endangered , and

3· A bhorrence of the cruelty and wastefulness often a s so c ­

i a t e d WITH TRADE IN WILDLIFE-

T he i l l e g a l t a k i n g and smuggling i s of p a r t i c u l a r concern ·

M any of the smuggled a n i m a l s d i e i n the course of t h e i r

CLANDESTINE TRANSIT OR SUFFER GREATLY-

A u s t r a l i a n eff ' orts to overcome the a c t i v i t i e s of

unscrupulous w i l d l i f e traders and to c u r t a i l the i n t e r ­

n a t i on al BLACK MARKET IN WILDLIFE, NEEDS TO BE SUPPLEMENTED

THROUGH JOINT ACTION WITH OTHER COUNTRIES " THE RECEIVER

COUNTRIES AS WELL AS ANY INTERMEDIARY COUNTRIES THROUGH

WHICH WILDLIFE IS EXPORTED·

A GOOD EXAMPLE OF SUCCESSFUL INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION

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IS A RECENT CASE WHERE AUSTRALIA JOINED WITH THE US A,

I ndonesi a and P apua N ew G u i n e a in thwarti ng di sh on e st

TRADERS WHO TRIED USING FALSE DOCUMENTATION TO IMPORT

INTO THE USA 1 3 0 LIVE COCKATOOS AND PARROTS VALUED AT

$ 7 0 0 , 0 0 0 - T he importers were d e n i e d t h e i r p r o f i t s b e c a u s e ,

WORKING CO-OPERATIVELY, THE FOUR COUNTIES INVOLVED WERE

ABLE TO SHOW THAT THE BIRDS COULD NOT HAVE BEEN TAKEN

LEGALLY -

T he W i l d l i f e P rotection A ct procl ai me d on 13 A p r i l and

WHICH COMES INTO OPERATION TODAY, IS A MAJOR STEP FORWARD,

CLEARLY DEMONSTRATING THE CONCERN OF THIS GOVERNMENT FOR

THE PROTECTION AND WELFARE OF AUSTRALIAN PLANTS AND ANIMALS

AND ITS DETERMINATION TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS-

T he A ct provi des greater p e n a l t i e s for people who i l l e g a l l y

IMPORT OR EXPORT WILDLIFE, STRENGTHENS THE NEED FOR

MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS, PROVIDES INCREASED PROTECTION FOR

A u s t r a l i a n plants and enables closer and more e f f e c t i v e

CO-OPERATION BETWEEN THE CUSTOMS SERVICE AND THE AUSTRALIAN

N a t i o n a l P ark ? and W i l d l i f e S e r v i c e -

O verall RESPONSIBILITY WITHIN MY PORTFOLIO FOR ADMINIS­

TRATION OF THE LEGISLATION RESTS WITH THE AUSTRALIAN

N a t i o n a l P arks and W i l d l i f e S e r v i c e and in the capable

HANDS OF ITS DIRECTOR, PROFESSOR DEREK OviNGTON-

E f f e c t i v e operation of the A ct w i l l rely on cont inued

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CLOSE CO-OPERATION BETWEEN THE SERVICE AND ITS STATE AND

TERRITORY COUNTERPARTS. SUCH CONSTRUCTIVE COOPERATION

IS EVIDENT IN THE DETAILED CONSULTATION PRECEDING THE

PASSAGE OF THIS LEGISLATION AND IN THE SUBSEQUENT

DEVELOPMENT OF MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS FOR THE EXPORT OF

'' PRODUCTS OF NATIVE AUSTRALIAN WILDLIFE-

N on - government conservati on groups have made p o s i t i v e

CONTRIBUTIONS IN DEVELOPING THE LEGISLATION-

I WELCOME THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN AUSTRALIAN OFFICE OF

the T rade R ecords A n a l y s i s of F lora and F auna i n C ommerce

( T R A F F I C ) network - T h i s can greatly a s s i s t government

CONTROL BY ASSISTING IN MONITORING THE SPECIES AND VOLUME

OF WILDLIFE ENTERING TRADE AND PROVIDING INFORMATION ON

ILLEGAL TRAFFIC-

T R A F F I C ( U S A ) has already pro vi ded i nf o r m a t i o n to the

A u s t r a l i a n N a t i o n a l P arks and W i l d l i f e S e r v i c e which led

‘ to the s e i z u r e of i l l e g a l l y i mported endangered carnivorous

PLANTS- '

U l t i m a t e l y the success of efforts to control i n t e r n a t i o n a l

TRADE IN WILDLIFE AND WILDLIFE PRODUCTS DEPENDS LARGELY

ON CONVINCING PEOPLE OF THE VALUE TO THEM OF WILD PLANTS

AND ANIMALS AND INFORMING THEM OF THE MECHANISMS BY WHICH

WILDLIFE IS SAFEGUARDED -

D uring the peri od l e a d i n g up to the proclamati on of the

5

A ct consi derable effort has been devoted to e s t a b l i s h i n g

APPROPRIATE ADMINISTRATIVE ARRANGEMENTS AND THE PREPARATION

AND DISTRIBUTION OF INFORMATIVE MATERIAL FOR RELEASE TO

THE PUBLIC·

T h i s m a t er i al includes -

a ) I nformation l e a f l e t s for t ra ve l le rs in 17 l an gu a ge s ;

b ) I nformation sheets for general t rave ll ers and

COMMERCIAL,SCI ENT IFIC AND ZOO TRANSACTIONS;

c ) P o st e rs ;

d ) D i s dlays of p r o h i b i t e d goods in the departure areas

of i n t e r n a t i o n a l a ir p o r t s throughout A u s t r a l i a and

on N orfolk I s l a n d ; and

E) A NEWSPAPER AND MAGAZINE CAMPAIGN WHICH BEGINS THIS

WEEK -

A ppropri ate l e a f l e t s and posters have been p ro vi ded to

TRAVEL AGENTS THROUGHOUT AUSTRALIA AND I WISH TO EXPRESS

MY APPRECIATION FOR THE GENEROUS ASSISTANCE AND SUPPORT

OF TRAVEL AGENTS IN DRAWING THE ATTENTION OF TRAVELLERS

TO THESE.

I nformation is also b e ing pro vi ded to A u s t r a l i a n s overseas

AND INTENDING VISITORS TO AUSTRALIA BY AUSTRALIAN

E m b a s s i e s , C onsulates and v i s a i s s u i n g o f f i c e s -

6

T hrough the provision of this information , I b e l i e v e ,

A ustralians travelling overseas will become more selective

IN THEIR PURCHASES AND WILL BE PLEASED THAT THEY ARE

HELPING TO REDUCE THE PRESSURE ON WILD POPULATIONS OF

ENDANGERED PLANTS AND ANIMALS· ‘

I t is a matter of sati sfacti on to me that the C I T E S

S ecretariat recently expressed its pleasure at the

ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL PARKS AND

W i l d l i f e S ervi ce in the f i e l d of publi c awareness of C I T E S

AND THAT ITS ACTIVITIES REPRESENTED A MAJOR STEP TOWARDS

THE ACHIEVEMENT OF C I T E S OBJECTIVES-

IN BRINGING THE WILDLIFE PROTECTION ACT INTO FORCE THE

G overnment is reflecti ng the concern of most A ustrali ans

to ensure the conti nued exi stence of wi ld plants and

ANIMALS, A KEY COMPONENT OF THE WORLD HERITAGE-

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