|Description of this FunctionDescription of this Function|
From 1862 - 1975 functions undertaken under the provisions of the various Game Acts and Fisheries Acts included :
protection of specified animals for specified periods and/or locations from wilful destruction :
The first Game Act in 1862 was designed to protect animals introduced by the Acclimatisation Society from 1861, such as the fox, hare, rabbit, squirrel and antelope. By the early twentieth century native game and some native wildlife, such as koalas were also specified.
( regulation of hunting and shooting, including issue of licences and permits, the employment of inspectors and use of police and honorary inspectors.
stocking of streams and lakes with trout and the development of research into freshwater and marine fisheries.
By 1913 trout were being distributed from hatcheries and in 1933 a trout licence was introduced. The appointment of the first biologist in 1941 resulted in bream fishery research at the Gippsland lakes, leading to the first Victorian fisheries management regulations. The Snob's Creek Freshwater Fisheries Research Station and Hatchery was established in 1946. In 1947 the Port Phillip Bay fisheries were studied to encourage the commercial marine fishing industry. Since 1968 fees from commercial fishing have been applied to research, management and development of commercial fisheries.
( management of sanctuaries proclaimed under the Land Acts, where all fauna (partly protected non-native and native game) are protected for the whole year.
( management of State wildlife reserves, introduced in 1959 to cater primarily for the reservation and the management of wildlife habitat.
( research into wildlife conservation, the first wildlife research station "Serendip" at Lara near Geelong in 1959. Subsequently an Environmental Studies Section was set up in 1963; and in 1970 major new research facilities at the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research were established at Heidelberg.
From 1975 to 1988 functions undertaken under the Wildlife Act 1975 and the Fisheries Act 1975 included:
( regulation of the taking, trading and possession of protected species; issue of licences to buy, sell, keep and breed wildlife issued and fees. Fees collected were used to support wildlife conservation work by the Fisheries and Wildlife Division
( issue of hunting licences and permits
( marine conservation
( classification of wildlife into the following categories, each of which was assigned a different degree of protection: Endangered Species; Notable Wildlife and Other Protected Wildlife. Nearly all species of native vertebrate animals were protected.
( management of State Wildlife Reserves under the provisions of the Wildlife Act which established three types of reserve:
State Game Reserves were areas in which hunters were permitted to take game during the prescribed open season.
State Game Refuges were areas in which work was carried out to preserve, restore or create game habitat. Hunting was prohibited in all of these localities which thus provided sanctuary for game during the hunting season.
State Faunal reserves were reserved for the preservation and propagation of species of wildlife other than game. The taking of wildlife was prohibited. Wildlife sanctuaries where hunting or killing of wildlife was prohibited were declared by Governor in Council.
( establishment of "Wildlife Management Co-operatives Areas" on land and on Crown Land vested in other authorities. For these areas a management plan may be drawn up to encourage the conservation of wildlife. The Fisheries and Wildlife Division assists with the implementation of such plans.
( research into wildlife conservation; Game Management Stations established as regional research centres where intensive management studies, research and pilot schemes for wildlife management developed and assessed
From 1988 functions undertaken under the Wildlife Act 1975 and the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 included:
( protection of all native fauna and fish on Victorian land and waters
recommendations for listing of "threatened species" (rare, geographically restricted, vulnerable or endangered species) for extra protection or a potentially threatening process for closer management and or prevention. Preparation and administration of Action Statements and Management Plans which indicate what action has been taken and what action is intended in relation to each listed species, community, ecosystem or potentially endangering process.
. functions undertaken by the Scientific Advisory Committee considering nominations for listing
( preparation of Flora and Fauna Guarantee Strategy
( administration of Interim Protection Orders, issued by the Minister. These allow immediate action to be taken to protect habitat and associated flora and fauna in critical areas on Crown or land Such orders may prohibit or regulate use, management or development of the land concerned and may set requirements for appropriate works or activities to be undertaken. Payment of compensation to landholders is possible. Appeals can be made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
( determination of critical habitats by the Director/Secretary of the Department, is a pre-requisite for the issue of an Interim Protection Order. The breaching of such may carry legal consequences in certain circumstances
( administration of Public Authority Management Agreements and consultation with public authorities regarding work plans for activities within critical habitats