|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
The Zoological Parks and Gardens Board was established in 1995 on the enactment of the Zoological Parks and Gardens Act 1995. This Act was passed through Legislative Council in December 1995, and received Royal Assent on the 29th of April 1996. This Act resulted in Zoological Board of Victoria (VA 572) changing its name to 'Zoological Parks and Gardens'. The Minister for Conservation and Land Management was previously responsible. As of 2017, the Victorian Minister for Environmental and Climate Change is responsible.
The Zoological Parks and Gardens Board Victoria includes Werribee Open Range Zoo (formerly Werribee Zoological Park), Healesville Sanctuary (formerly The Sir Colin Mackenzie Zoological Park) and Melbourne Zoo.
The purpose of the Zoological Parks and Gardens Act 1995 was to establish the Zoological Parks and Garden Board and to provide management and administration of zoological parks and gardens. The functions and objectives of the board as set out in the Act (incorporating amendments as at 5th of April, 2005) are:
- To conserve, protect, manage and improve zoological parks and managed land and collections.
- To promote and increase public enjoyment of the collections and parks.
- Increase public knowledge and awareness through exhibitions, publications and educational programs.
- Carry out and promote zoological research, the conservation of wildlife and its natural habitats and the maintenance of biodiversity.
First established in 1857 as the Zoological Society of Victoria, the name was changed to the Royal Zoological and Acclimatisation Society (VA 3123) in 1910. The goal was to introduce and acclimatise animals, birds, fish and plants. The Melbourne Zoological Gardens was the first to be established in Australia. The original site was known as the Richmond Paddock, it was located across from the Botanic Gardens on the Yarra River. The collection was later moved to Royal Park, and due to financial difficulties, the Zoological Board of Victoria (VA 572) took over as a statuary authority in 1937. The previous Acts were the Zoological Parks and Gardens Act 1967 and the Zoological Gardens Act 1936.