Original language


Date of text
Type of court
Court name
Administrative Appeals Tribunal
Seat of court
Reference number
[2008] AATA 717
Biodiversity, Wildlife, Licences, Evidence, Administrative, Climate Change, Inspections, Admissibility, Cooperation, Permits
Free tags
Wild species & ecosystems
Legal questions
On 19 December 2006 the then Minister for the Environment and Heritage made a declaration pursuant to s 303FO(2) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (the EPBC Act) that the “New South Wales Commercial Kangaroo Harvest Management Plan 2007-2011” was an approved wildlife trade management plan as that expression is used in Part 13A of the EPBC Act. The Plan deals with four species of kangaroo – the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus), the western grey kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus), the eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) and the wallaroo (Macropus robustus erubescens and Macropus robustus robustus). The applicant, the Wildlife Protection Association of Australia Inc., seeks a review in this Tribunal of the Minister’s decision. The Director-General of the New South Wales Department of Environment and Climate Change, who propounded the Plan and sought the declaration by the Minister, was a party to the proceedings and generally adopted the arguments put on behalf of the Minister. The Plan replaces the “New South Wales Kangaroo Management Program 2002-2006”, which was the subject of earlier proceedings in the Tribunal. The Minister’s decision, and that of this Tribunal, is not a decision that authorizes the commercial harvesting of kangaroos per se. That is a matter for the State. The decision that seeks to impose a framework to commercial harvesting in the context of the Commonwealth’s powers in relation to the export of the products from those animals to overseas markets. Except within that context, it is not within the power of the Commonwealth to impose restrictions on the harvesting of the animals. Absent the Plan, the harvesting of the animals would continue, subject to the controls imposed by the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NSW) (the NPW Act) and Regulations made under that Act. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal delivered its final decision on 2 December 2008. The former minister's decision was affirmed and the Tribunal recognised that the harvest was sustainable and met the animal welfare requirements of the EPBC Act. However, the Tribunal was concerned that the management plan did not include adequate response measures to an unusual decline in population numbers and the plan was amended to include trigger points and the actions to be taken when the trigger points are met.