Policy Setting for Guidelines

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International, Commonwealth and State legislation and policy related to ecologically sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of aquatic biodiversity and human health require effective frameworks for the management of translocation risks. Within Victoria, relevant legislation includes the Fisheries Act 1995 and the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. Administration of legislation and related policy programs lies with the Department of Environment and Primary Industries.

The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry administer the relevant Commonwealth legislation, policies and strategies.

In 1999, the Commonwealth Ministerial Council on Forestry, Fisheries and Aquaculture approved the National Policy for the Translocation of Live Aquatic Organisms- Issues, Principles and Guidelines for Implementation (Bureau of Rural Sciences 1999). To meet the intentions of that policy, all Australian states and territories are required to develop translocation guidelines for their jurisdiction that achieve:

  • consistency in the consideration of translocations within Australia
  • effective coordination of administrative arrangements within jurisdictions
  • appropriate supporting legislation
  • acceptable levels of compliance
  • a nationally accepted, explicit and transparent risk assessment process
  • regular assessment and continuous improvement of risk management strategies including the adequacy of risk assessment, decision-making and enforcement processes
  • increased community and industry awareness of the potential risks associated with the translocation of live organisms.

Victoria met these requirements in the publication and implementation of Guidelines for Assessing Translocations of Live Aquatic Organisms in Victoria (Department of Environment and Primary Industries 2003). It was specified in that document that it would be reviewed in year four following publication. This document is the result of that review and replaces the previous document.