re: (beyond) killing of rare parrots

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: re: (beyond) killing of rare parrots
Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2007 22:28:47 +1000 (EST)
Hear Hear Bob,

I would like to see some sustained debate and advocacy positions developed
on the serious matters you've raised: this list seems a logical site for
the articulation of these sorts of positions.

My sense is that something has to be done to contest and disable the
politically opportunistic abuse of State and Commonwealth environmental
legislation.  See, didn't blame any particular political party there!  But
these matters are being used as pawns by major political parties in state
and federal contexts: we are not simply talking about technicalities of
law and policy here.  At one level, what's needed are more successful
Federal Court actions to "test" and consolidate prosecutions and penalties
under threatened species legislation.

Hang on ... I think I just saw a pig fly by too.

Craig Williams
Newcastle & Lake Maquarie NSW

> Dear all,
> For a few months there has been a long thread on Birding Aus reporting
> on the recent separate prosecutions of a company/companies and their
> employees in relation to the deaths of Regent parrots. See those posts
> for the relevant details. Here I just want to note some issues of
> concern following recent developments that to arise from a lack of
> apparent synchronisation between relevant State & Commonwealth law.
> While I'm not up on the operation of the EBCA (Cth) legislation or the
> relevant Victorian legislation it seems that an amendment/s or at least
> a closer examination of these is warranted. Simon Mustoe may know better
> and he's commented on this thread before.
> On its face to date a number of matters appear to be of concern..
> It appears there is a need to clarify and sychronise, at an agreed
> taxonomic level, what appear to be at least one, though more likely
> many, difficulties in the identification of taxa as they are variously
> classified in prosecutions under the various State & Cth laws.
> Prosecutors need a high degree of certainty of the law in order to
> accurately frame charges in a matter. If the current prosecutions fail
> because of what appears to be either an oversight or a failure on the
> part of the States & Cth to synchronise at least their prosecutorial
> powers & procedures then, as has been pointed out, the company may be
> free to do the same thing again. One way around this might be to 'deem',
> for a particular purpose, that references to a ssp. be read as
> references to an agreed sp.or something similar. I would think that in
> most cases this could be effected by amendment to regulations rather
> than their substantive Acts. I may be wrong in this, but..i
> The compatibility and jurisdiction between the various State & Federal
> Acts that create offences for the harming and killing of animals should
> be resolved and soon. If ever there was a pressing environmental concern
> for birders it is the effectiveness of prosecutions for harming/killing
> birds and surely if State & Cth legislators/Departments aren't
> effectively coordinating their procedures & practices so as to maximise
> the prospects of success of each prosecution, then they should be
> persuaded to do so. I appreciate that there are most likely a
> considerable number of loyal & hardworking public servants out there who
> know more about this than I do but I am somewhat at a loss to understand
> why the issues in and around this current scandal, and what appear to be
> issues of almost systemic failure or disjunct, haven't been more widely
> considered or agitated by all interested in bird conservation and
> management.
> Is there a role for bodies like BA etc to be more involved in issues
> like this? - I haven't heard a peep from any of the peak
> body/NGO/Government agencies about these current issues for the length
> of this thread. I've raised this before but it would seem that among the
> apparently well-educated & suitably employed of BA/COG members that
> there would be a small group interested in this area of bird law and
> willing/interested enough to do something about these matters. What
> about a 'Bird Law Special Interest Group' or similar.
> One form of Government advertising I wouldn't mind seeing is a campaign
> that trumpeted the Government's success at prosecutions like this,
> promoted the prospect of greater cooperation between the State & Cth and
> announcing a well-resourced and empowered inter-governmental unit to
> investigate, prosecute and drive policy & public initiatives on the
> prevention of all Wildlife Crime.
> Pigs are swooping past my window as I write ...
> Best, may the sun and the wind be behind and your birds in front of you!
> Bob Gosford
> Yuendumu, NT
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