A MAJORITY LIBERAL GOVERNMENT WILL:
- Continue to protect the Tasmanian tradition of recreational hunting and sporting shooting which is a way of life for many Tasmanian families.
- Maintain the sustainable hunting system in Tasmania for game species including wild fallow deer, wallaby, duck, quail, muttonbird, and pheasant.
- Support improved collaboration between recreational hunters and landholders to manage the impacts of wild fallow deer and browsing animals on farmland, reserves and sensitive environment areas.
- Invest $50,000 towards a study into the economic and social value of recreational hunting and sporting shooting to Tasmania.
- Invest $250,000 over two years to implement a new Wild Fallow Deer Management Plan for Tasmania, reinvigorate Property-based Game Management Plans, and expand deer and wildlife population monitoring.
- Assist in developing a new Wildlife Impact Action Plan in conjunction with the TFGA.
- Provide $50,000 to subsidise training through TasTAFE for hunters to obtain the safe harvesting and meat handling certification to enable wild shot deer to be processed for personal use at accredited facilities.
Recreational hunting and sporting shooting is an important tradition for many Tasmanians. It is a healthy recreational activity in its own right and recreational hunters also play an important role in helping landholders to sustainably manage wildlife populations and to reduce the impact of browsing animals.
There is a long-established system for regulating sustainable hunting and the use of game species for commercial and recreational purposes. The Liberal Government established Games Services Tasmania to better support landholders, farmers and hunters to effectively manage wild fallow deer and all issues relating to game and browsing animals. We also established the Tasmanian Game Council as an independent advisory body with wide skills and experience on game and browsing management.
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will:
Invest $50,000 towards a study into the economic and social value of recreational hunting and sporting shooting to Tasmania.
The study into the social and economic value of recreational hunting and sporting shooting in Tasmania will assess the contribution that thousands of Tasmanians, hunting and shooting clubs, support organisations, retailers and suppliers make to regional Tasmania.
It will help inform future policy and management directions.
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will work closely with all relevant stakeholders, including the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (Tasmania), Australian Deer Association (Tasmania) and the Tasmania Deer Advisory Council in undertaking the study.
Provide $250,000 over two years to implement a new Wild Fallow Deer Management Plan for Tasmania, reinvigorate Property-based Game Management Plans, and expand wild fallow deer and wildlife population monitoring.
The Tasmanian Liberal Government recently commenced development of Tasmania’s first 5-year Wild Fallow Deer Management Plan in consultation with the Tasmanian Game Council and stakeholders.
The Plan will set management objectives and the control techniques for managing wild fallow deer in areas including the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, conservation areas, agricultural production land, peri-urban areas and satellite populations.
A key to implementing the Plan is good collaboration between farmers and foresters and recreational hunters to manage wild fallow deer and browsing animals on both private and public land.
Property Based Game Management Plans (PBGMP’s) have been a successful tool in fostering such collaboration, and developing Quality Deer Management (QDM) strategies and browsing animal arrangements.
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will reinvigorate the use of PBGMP’s, to support farmers, foresters, and hunters working together to set tailored QDM objectives for managing wild fallow deer on their property, including property-specific game seasons and take arrangements, which can then be accredited by Game Services Tasmania.
The normal state-wide game season and take arrangements will still apply to other properties.
We will expand the wildlife population monitoring undertaken by Government which will help refine deer and browsing animal management strategies over time and support the game hunting system more broadly in Tasmania.
Expanded monitoring will also assist in managing the impact of wildlife as we continue working with stakeholders, including landowners, farmers and peak bodies.
Assist in developing a new Wildlife Impact Action Plan in conjunction with TFGA.
To help manage the impact of browsing animals on agriculture, a re-elected Majority Liberal Government will develop a new Wildlife Impact Action Plan in conjunction with the TFGA, encompassing:
- Property Based Game Management Plans.
- Existing control techniques and management options.
- Improved wildlife monitoring.
This will provide an overarching action plan that documents Tasmania’s approach to managing browsing animal impacts and reflects the range of practical actions that farmers and other landowners can take.
Provide $50,000 to subsidise training through TasTAFE for hunters to obtain the safe harvesting and meat handling certification required to enable wild shot deer to be processed for personal use at accredited facilities.
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will subsidise training so that TasTAFE can add the safe harvesting and meat handling of wild shot deer to its existing course offerings in Game Harvester Skills and Meat Processing.
We recognise many stakeholders seek opportunities to better utilise the meat and other products from the wild fallow deer.
Hunters can use mobile butchers or process themselves wild shot deer they have taken for their own consumption. Otherwise only accredited hunters with appropriate food safety training and certification can deliver wild shot deer, or other game species, to commercial abattoirs. This is important to protect the food safety and brand of our meat products and processing sector.
The Liberal Government has listened and a sensible step forward is to enable hunters and landholders to work with commercial abattoirs to support the apparent demand to use more of the wild shot deer taken for personal use.
A re-elected Liberal Government will not consider the potential wider commercial use and sale of wild shot deer products until the impacts of the many other deer management strategies currently being deployed are evaluated through the implementation of the new Wild Fallow Deer Management Plan.
In 2020, the Tasmanian Liberal Government delivered on its commitment and engaged a consultant to undertake a study to determine the feasibility of a trial to use wild shot fallow deer for commercial purposes.
We acknowledge the concerns raised by stakeholders, including food safety standards and the potential negative impacts on deer farmers, if wild shot deer products are deregulated and sold to the wider market.
The Government recently streamlined and improved the ability for hunters and landholders to better manage deer populations by significantly extending game seasons, introducing five-year crop protection permits for antlerless deer, and opening more reserves for hunting.
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will also implement a five-year Wild Fallow Deer Management Plan and enhance collaboration between hunters and farmers through the use of accredited Property Based Game Management Plans.
The implementation of the new Wild Fallow Deer Management Plan will provide the right framework to monitor and review the impact of current management strategies and developments in market and consumer demands for deer products over time.
Current work underway right now:
- Developing the first comprehensive 5 year Wild Fallow Deer Management Plan for Tasmania.
- Undertaking a comprehensive State-wide deer census project which included the first aerial population survey of core deer areas, and currently being followed with camera trap monitoring in key areas and citizen science using the Deer Scan app in other conservation areas including the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and National Parks.
- We remain committed to implementing, in full, our comprehensive response to the 2017 Legislative Council Inquiry into wild fallow deer in Tasmania.
Our record in Government:
- Significantly extended the hunting season for antlerless deer, which now runs from March to November.
- Introduced five-year crop protection permits for antlerless deer.
- Removed quotas and tags for both Game Licences and Crop Protection Permits for antlerless deer.
- Enabled antlerless deer hunting on public land to be allocated through an electronic booking system.
- Made additional areas of reserved land available for deer hunting season including Tooms Lake Conservation Area; Buxton River Conservation Area; St Pauls Regional Reserve and Castle Carey Regional Reserve.
- Released a Contemporary Quality Deer Management (QDM) Statement in 2019 to help maintain wild fallow deer as a world class hunting resource in Tasmania.
- Formed the Tasmanian Game Council.
- Established a new Game Services Tasmania within DPIPWE.
The cost of this policy is $350,000 over two years.