A number of changes to the way hunting activities are administered and regulated in NSW occurred in 2013. I thank you for your patience during this time.
The Game and Feral Animal Control Amendment Bill 2013 was recently passed by both houses of the NSW Parliament with a view to better integrating hunting as a game and feral animal management tool whilst also seeking to re-establish hunting as a legitimate recreational activity.
The passing of the Bill heralds the move of former Game Council staff and functions to a new Game Licensing Unit within the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI). Under the new legislation, a Game and Pest Management Advisory Board will also be established.
How will the changes affect me?
Core functions delivered by the former Game Council - such as licensing, booking, compliance and providing advice and information on game and feral animal hunting in NSW – will be maintained by the DPI Game Licensing Unit. These functions will be largely administered by former Game Council staff now situated within this Unit. All former Game Council Offices have now been closed and you should direct all inquiries to the Game Licensing Unit on (02) 6391 3750 or firstname.lastname@example.org or you can go to the DPI game licensing webpage at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/hunting for further information.
Hunting in State Forests
The NSW Government suspended hunting in State forests and on Crown Lands pending the transfer of Game Council functions to the NSW DPI and the outcome of a review of the current risk assessment for hunting on State forests. The transfer of former Game Council functions and staff into the DPI is now complete and recommendations have been received from the hunting in State forests risk assessment review.
The risk assessment was reviewed by a stakeholder working group including representatives from Forestry Corporation of NSW (FCNSW), the former Game Council, Unions, Contractors Association, WorkCover, the Crown Solicitor’s Office, Crown Lands and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).
The following recommendations from the risk assessment review have been endorsed by the stakeholder working group, Minister for Primary Industries, Forestry Corporation of NSW and DPI and will be implemented:
1. R-Licence hunters will be required to successfully complete two online training modules on outdoor navigation and knowledge of requirements of a written permission to hunt before they can book a hunt on a State forest. A multiple choice competency assessment with a pass mark will be applied to each module. The assessment will be open book with test material supplied as part of the online delivery of each module. Each module will need to be successfully completed once by each R-Licence hunter. The online training modules can be accessed through the Game Licensing Booking System on the DPI game licencing webpage www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/hunting.
2. R-Licence hunters will be required to read, understand and acknowledge a safety advisory for hunting on State forests. The advisory will appear the first time you attempt to book a hunt and must be acknowledged by each hunter. Once acknowledged, the advisory will no longer appear or restrict access to the booking system.
3. R-Licence hunters will be required to carry a Global Positioning System (GPS) enabled device when hunting on State forests. The device must be capable of locating the hunter’s position at any time when hunting on a State forest and it must contain up to date GPS data on State forest boundaries and exclusion zones. GPS data downloads can be accessed on the Game Licensing Booking System and they will also appear for download each time you book a hunt and attempt to print a written permission. More information about suitable GPS devices (including smartphones) is available from the DPI game licensing webpage www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/hunting.
4. Each time an R-Licence hunter books a written permission to hunt a 1 day clear provision will be applied to the day immediately preceding the booking. For example if an R-Licence hunter books a written permission at any time on a Thursday the written permission allowing them to hunt will be issued from Saturday. Friday will be a day clear to allow Forestry Corporation of NSW staff additional flexibility to plan and complete forestry operations. R-Licence hunters will continue to be able to access a forest on the day before their written permission commences and the day after for the purposes of familiarising themselves with the area and setting up or packing up any camping arrangements.
5. Forests open to hunting will now be categorised into five distinct categories to allow greater flexibility and integration of hunting activities with both Forestry Corporation of NSW operations and the activities of other recreational users. Forests will be categorised into the following categories:
1. Category 1. Opened to online bookings 7 days per week.
2. Category 2. Opened to online bookings 7 days per week with a possible peak hunting period where the public is excluded from the forest.
3. Category 3. Opened to online bookings weekends only. If a Public Holiday falls immediately before or after a weekend it is classified as a weekend also.
4. Category 4. Opened to online bookings 7 days per week bow hunting only.
5. Category 5. Closed to hunting.
The categorisation of each forest will be subject to change. R-Licence hunters will be notified of any changes on the game licensing webpage. For information on forests currently listed in each category please visit the DPI game licensing webpage www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/hunting.
R-Licence hunters will be able to access the DPI Game Licensing webpage from 20 January 2014 to familiarise themselves with and complete these additional requirements. R-Licence hunters will be able to book hunts for open forests from 3 February 2014. More information can be obtained by accessing the DPI game licensing webpage www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/hunting or by contacting the DPI Game Licensing Unit on (02) 6391 3750 or email@example.com.
Action Key date
DPI Game Licensing webpage open 20 January 2014
R-Licence hunters to complete additional education modules and familiarise themselves with new provisions
From 20 January 2014
Game Licensing Booking System open 20 January 2014
Hunting recommences in selected State forests 3 February 2014
The provisions of the Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002 remain in force. All regulations regarding licensing and compliance remain the same. The new legislation has not altered the laws regarding how you legally hunt in NSW and penalties continue to apply for non-compliance.
A Game Hunting Licence is still required to hunt game animals, including deer on private land. Written permissions from land owners are still required. For further information about the game and feral animal species you can hunt, please visit the DPI game licensing webpage www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/hunting.
Forest surveillance, including cameras, remains in place, and NSW authorities will continue to detect and deter illegal hunting. NSW Police Officers are authorised Inspectors under the Act and DPI staff will continue to work with the NSW Police and other land managers to ensure compliance with the law.
Dr Andrew Moriarty
DPI Game Licensing Unit
For more information go to: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/hunting/rec ... nting/forest-declarations