Legislation, policies and charters to support habitat strategies

Danie Ondinea and Louise Brodie

The following documents are applicable to the management of wildlife and urban bushland and the creation of habitat and wildlife corridors.

The National Strategy for Conservation of Australia’s Biological Diversity

In June 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit Australia signed the Convention on Biological Diversity. In 1996 the National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia’s Biological Diversity was published which is a blueprint for the ecologically sustainable management and use of Australia’s natural resources. Biological diversity is considered at three levels - genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity.

New South Wales Biodiversity Strategy

The draft Strategy has recently been launched and is available for public comment.

State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) No 19 - Bushland in Urban Areas 1989

The aims and objectives of this policy are to protect and preserve urban bushland zoned for open space in the scheduled local government areas.

National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974

As well as protecting all native fauna (except invertebrates and fish) from direct human interference, this act also protects them indirectly by regulating interference with habitat. Thus "significant modification of the habitat of the fauna which is likely to adversely affect its essential behavioural patterns" is included in this legislation.

Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995

The objectives of this act are to protect threatened flora and fauna species, populations and ecological communities by protecting critical habitat and eliminating or managing threatening processes. Key threatening processes are to be listed under Schedule 3 of this act. One of the criteria for being listed is "might cause non-threatened species, populations or ecological communities to become threatened". This could be applied to processes which degrade the remnants of indigenous vegetation which contain species and provide habitat which are not conserved elsewhere in the area.

New South Wales Companion Animals Green Paper 1996

The Companion Animals Working Party has developed this paper to explore a range of issues affecting pets and their owners including desexing, cat curfews, responsible care and environmental issues. Community comment is presently being sought before a draft of the proposed Companion Animals Act is circulated later in 1996. This new legislation should clearly outline the owners’ responsibilities for protecting and controlling their companion animals.

Australian Natural Heritage Charter 1996

The Australian Natural Heritage Charter applies to places of natural significance in the same fashion as the Burra Charter applies to places of cultural significance. The charter provides principles and procedures for the conservation and management of natural heritage for conservation professionals and the general community.

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