Thursday 25 March 2020
Hansard of the Legislative Council
Wild Fallow Deer Report - Government Response
Mr FINCH to LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Mrs HISCUTT
The Government says it is implementing in full its response to the 2017 Legislative Council Legislative Council Government Administration Committee A inquiry into wild fallow deer.
- Why is that taking so long?
- Does the Government realise that since the inquiry the wild deer population has greatly increased, and that the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association now supports the ongoing culling of wild deer populations and the sale of wild deer meat for human consumption?
- Is the expansion of wild deer into World Heritage Areas being monitored?
Mr President, I thank the member for Rosevears for his question.
As previously advised, the Government is implementing in full our comprehensive response to the 2017 Legislative Council inquiry on wild fallow deer. Our policy on wild deer is clear, balanced and has been publicly available since 2017.
The Government has delivered on a number of the significant reforms as outlined in our response, including -
- The formation of a new Tasmanian Game Council, chaired by former MLC Greg Hall.
- Establishing Game Services Tasmania within DPIPWE to support landholders, hunters and farmers in effectively managing deer and all issues relating to game and browsing animals.
- Developing a statement of quality deer management in collaboration with the Tasmanian Game Council and other stakeholders; the statement is available on the DPIPWE website.
- Providing access to additional public reserves for regulated recreational deer hunting to help manage deer populations in reserves (including four additional areas for the 2020 season).
- Implementing five-year crop protection permits for antlerless deer and reducing red tape for holders of crop protection permits and game licences through removing quotas and tags for antlerless deer and extending the recreational hunting season for antlerless deer.
- Undertaking a comprehensive statewide census of wild fallow deer, with the data collection component of the aerial survey completed in October 2019. The aerial survey results, along with camera traps and citizen science to be undertaken in other areas of the state, including the TWWHA, will provide significant data enabling more informed decision-making for managing deer populations across the state.
- Working with deer farmers and other stakeholders to develop a deer industry development plan.
- Evaluating the feasibility of a trial for deer farmers and landholders to develop value-added commercial wild deer products. This work is being progressed in collaboration with the Tasmanian Game Council.
The Government is aware that there are diverse views in the community regarding the management and use of wild fallow deer, including within the farming sector.
Consequently, the Government’s focus is on maintaining a sensible balance between managing the impact of deer on our important primary industries and natural environment and maintaining a deer herd as a traditional hunting resource.