Senate debates

Tuesday, 21 August 2018


Sustainable Hunting Practices

3:50 pm

Photo of Derryn HinchDerryn Hinch (Victoria, Derryn Hinch's Justice Party) Share this | Hansard source

I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 922 standing in my name for today relating to sustainable hunting practices.

Leave granted.

I move the motion as amended:

That the Senate:

(a) notes that:

  (i) dugongs and sea turtles play an extremely important role in the ecological balance of Australia's marine life, particularly throughout the Great Barrier Reef,

  (ii) the populations of both dugongs and sea turtles have declined significantly over the past 15 years,

  (iii) population decline is due to cumulative pressures, such as ocean acidification, pollution, commercial fishing and other human impacts that include Indigenous hunting, and

  (iv) dugongs and sea turtles are both long-lived, slow-breeding and migratory species, meaning recovery from population decline can take many years;

(b) recognises:

  (i) the right of Indigenous Australians to hunt these species under section 211 of the Native Title Act 1993,

  (ii) the cultural significance traditional hunting practices have for Indigenous communities,

  (iii) that, while hunting rights are not restricted to non-commercial purposes (Akiba v Commonwealth [2013]), native title was envisaged for satisfying personal and communal needs, not to allow for the black-market trade of meat from these critically threatened species, and

  (iv) that 'regulation of the Native Title right is not inconsistent with the continued existence of that right' (Akiba v Commonwealth [2013]);

(c) acknowledges:

  (i) Indigenous clans, such as the Wulgurukaba people from the Townsville region, who have adopted sustainable take practices that include self-imposed quotas and cultural measures against poaching, and

  (ii) collaborative efforts between Indigenous clans, such as the Ipima Ikaya Aboriginal Corporation, who recently implemented a moratorium on the hunting of dugongs on the Cape York Peninsula while they a develop a sustainable management plan;

(d) encourages other Indigenous clans to cease hunting of dugongs and sea turtles until sustainable management plans can be implemented; and

(e) calls on the Federal Government to:

  (i) increase funding for Indigenous ranger programs on the Great Barrier Reef,

  (ii) assist in facilitating an Indigenous, Elder-led approach to making traditional hunting practices more sustainable, and

  (iii) ensure that the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority prioritises the development of Traditional Use of Marine Resources Agreements (TUMRAs) to more effectively manage the traditional use of dugong resources in cooperation with traditional owners and the Queensland Government.


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