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The Biodiversity Conservation Regulations will support the Biodiversity Conservation Act and provide for the licensing and management of activities that affect biodiversity. 

When will the changes commence?

On 3 December 2016, several parts of the new Act were proclaimed by the State Governor in the Government Gazette.

The remaining provisions of the Act will come into effect when the Regulations commence. The Regulations were published in the Government Gazette on 11 September 2018 and will come into effect on 1 January 2019. The Regulations are available on the WA legislation home page at: https://www.legislation.wa.gov.au/legislation/statutes.nsf/law_s50938.html.

 A community communication program is currently underway to let people know about the new Regulations and what the changes may mean for them. Meetings with stakeholders who represent licensees are being held to ensure the new Regulations are appropriate and are communicated within stake holder groups and the wider community.

What changes are anticipated?

The Regulations provide for the licensing and management of activities that affect biodiversity.  The majority of the activities that are currently licensed under the Wildlife Conservation and Sandalwood Acts will continue to require a licence under the new Regulations. 

Transitional arrangements are in place to ensure that those people who have a wildlife licence will continue to have a valid licence once the new Regulations commence without needing to apply for a new licence.  New licence types will then be issued once an existing licence expires.

There are some activities that are not currently licensed that will require a licence under the new arrangements including:

  • feeding wildlife as part of a commercial operation (for example, on a tour)
  • sandalwood supply, processing and dealing
  • flora dealers (where the flora is being commercially harvested), and
  • flora and fauna bioprospecting licences.

Some simplification of the licensing system is also proposed, including:

  • online applications, amendments, renewals and returns management
  • the ability to apply for multiple related activities on the one licence application, and
  • multi-year licence options in many situations.

More information on the changes that will affect particular activities or licensees is available in the below discussion notes.

Ministerial Guidelines

The Biodiversity Conservation Act provides a statutory basis for the listing of threatened species, specially protected species, threatened ecological communities, critical habitat and key threatening processes.
While the Act provides the broader criteria for listing the above, the Ministerial Guidelines provide further details on the criteria and procedures that apply.
Ministerial Guideline No. 1 provides more detail on the procedures that can be used for members of the community to nominate a species, ecological community or threatening process for listing as a threatened species, threatened ecological community or key threatening process.
 

 

The period for providing comments on the Biodiversity Regulations and Ministerial Guidelines has now closed.

A report summarising the feedback received and how it has been addressed will be published by the department at the end of 2018.