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Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
12 February 2003
The Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, has welcomed today's Federal Court decision about flying foxes.
"As a result of the decision, it is clear the Commonwealth is able to continue issuing guidelines under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) to assist farmers and the wider community to understand their obligations under the Act," Dr Kemp said.
"I am pleased the national approach adopted with States regarding flying-fox management remains in place.
"Contrary to some media reports, the Federal Court did not rule that orchardists with State permits require approval under the EPBC Act for the culling of flying-foxes.
"The Court specifically found it was consistent with the EPBC Act for me to adopt a view about the numbers of flying foxes that can safely be culled, and to adopt a national approach in co-operation with the States. It also found that I can issue guidelines to assist orchardists in deciding whether they should refer their actions for approval under the Act.
"As always, orchardists must make individual decisions about whether or not to refer under the EPBC Act any action which might affect listed threatened species."
Dr Kemp said in order to provide greater clarity for orchardists, additional explanation will be included in the guidelines in accordance with the Federal Court decision.
Peter Poggioli (02) 6277 7640 or (0412) 970 063