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Tuesday, 13 November 1973
Page: 3279

Mr Bennett (SWAN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) asked the Minister for the Environment and Conservation, upon notice:

(1)   Is there a difference in the degree of protection given to Australian native wildlife species from State to State.

(2)   Are many species which are recognised as useful in some States classified as vermin in others.

(3)   If so, will he endeavour to have a national Australian Wildlife Protection Code introduced.

Dr Cass (MARIBYRNONG, VICTORIA) (Minister for the Environment and Conservation) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Yes. As the honourable member is no doubt aware Constitutional responsibility for wildlife in the individual States rests with the various State Governments. lt is therefore inevitable because of differential distribution of species and varying needs of States that variations have occurred in the degree of protection afforded individual species of wildlife.

(2)   ' Some are.

(3)   For the reasons outlined in (1) above it is not possible for me to introduce a uniform code for wildlife protection nor, perhaps, would absolute uniformity be desirable. Nevertheless, I believe there is a need for greater co-ordination of policies concerning various species of wildlife, and I will endeavour to develop such national policies in co-operation with the various State wildlife authorities. For this reason I am arranging a meeting of Ministers responsible for wildlife and national parks in Australia to establish a Council of Nature Conservation Ministers to discuss matters such as those raised by the honourable member.

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