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|Effective date: 30 May 2016||Policy number: GLUCO1214||Review date: May 2017|
The Department is committed to the safe and responsible hunting of game animals in NSW. Illegal hunting is discouraged and responses to illegal hunting will be proportionate.
The primary purpose of regulatory measures is to encourage voluntary compliance with game hunting laws and to detect and deter illegal hunting on both public and private land.
This policy provides the guiding principles necessary for a fair, safe, efficient and equitable application of game hunting laws in the day-to-day dealings of Game Licensing Unit (GLU) with stakeholders and the general community.
The policy also provides a clear indication of what our clients should expect from GLU to:
Regulatory compliance – Adhering to the requirements of laws, industry and organisational standards, codes and accepted community and ethical standards.
The Game Licensing Unit is a dedicated Unit under the Fisheries Branch of the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), responsible for the delivery of functions of the Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002 (the Act) and Game and Feral Animal Control Regulation 2012 (the Regulation). These functions include:
Under the Act and Regulation the Regulatory Authority is defined as the Secretary Department of Industry, Skills and Regional Development. This authority has been delegated to the Department of Primary Industry Game Licensing Unit (GLU).
This policy summarises the GLUs approach to regulatory compliance. It explains how the GLU will conduct its regulatory functions to drive voluntary compliance and address instances of deliberate non-compliance.
The GLU operates within a complex legislative and political environment that requires clear policy and the careful administration of resource’s to achieve the best outcomes for all stakeholders.
To ensure that the GLU continues to deliver quality regulatory services that are outcomes focused and risk based it has adopted a modern regulatory approach (Figure 1, below). This approach seeks to drive behavioural change in NSW to maximise hunter safety, ethical conduct and voluntary compliance. It also seeks to identify and address instances of repeated non-compliance through the application of appropriate and proportionate sanctions within its delegated regulatory powers under the Act and Regulation.
Figure 1: The modern regulatory approach
This policy sets out the GLUs approach to regulatory compliance to support the effective achievement of outcomes and in accordance with relevant legislation in the following ways:
This policy applies to the operations of the GLU under the Act and Regulation. This policy does not include GLU Compliance Officer actions under the Forestry Act 2012. Actions and activities under this act are set and administered through the Forestry Corporation of NSW.
It is the responsibility of the regulated parties, industry and community to comply with all relevant Acts and Regulations. The GLU takes a risk-based approach to regulatory compliance management. Where compliance with the legislation administered and enforced by the GLU is not achieved, there is a progression of tools in place to respond to non-compliance. While regulated parties are expected to comply with legislative requirements, if non-compliance is identified the likely consequence for the regulated parties are clearly identified, predictable and consistently applied. Regulated parties can expect that any non-compliance will be treated seriously by the GLU and will be dealt with in a professional manner.
This regulatory policy is intended to describe the GLU’s overall approach to assessing and monitoring regulatory compliance and responding to instances of non-compliance. This policy aligns with NSW State priorities, NSW Department of Industry, Skills and Regional Development Corporate Plan, the NSW Department of Primary Industries’ Strategic Plan, NSW Fisheries Business Plan and the GLU Plan 2015-19.
The objective of the policy is to:
The policy promotes a cooperative and collaborative approach with hunters, hunting organisations, hunting industry businesses and the greater NSW community to drive voluntary compliance with game hunting regulations through education, communication and stakeholder engagement.
The GLU also references the Guidance for regulators to implement outcomes and risk-based regulations (QRSI) to produce material that provides a clear and practical framework for regulators to implement outcomes and risk-based regulation. This approach aids the Branch in achieving improved compliance outcomes and regulated entities to tailor their activities and demonstrate compliance.
The GLU collects data from its interactions with regulated and non-regulated entities and uses this data to inform decision making, as well as the allocation and prioritisation of resources to achieve strategic outcomes.
The GLU's primary focus is targeted preventative operations. The GLU constantly improves its capacity to detect and respond to non-compliance. When a problem or a risk is identified, the GLU seeks to resolve the problem before it leads to further impacts on the community.
Monitoring compliance and investigating non-compliance is therefore a key role for GLU. Figure 2 (below) shows the components of the GLU compliance approach. This enables the Unit to focus on identified areas of highest risk and learn and adapt to continuously improve the appropriateness, efficiency and effectiveness of its compliance program.
Figure 2: GLU's approach to compliance
It is identified that the most effective way to gain and maintain voluntary compliance is by building a relationship of trust between the GLU, hunters, the hunting industry and the community.
The GLU recognises that communication, education and support help interested parties to meet obligations and avoid inadvertent non-compliance. The GLU provides information in the form of guidelines, factsheets, booklets, brochures, newsletters and online content.
The GLU also has a dedicated call centre to provide support on all GLU operations as well as dedicated support teams for specific programs (e.g. native game birds and education).The GLU also attends up to eight hunting trade show events per year to also provide critical compliance and education materials to a wide range of interested parties and stakeholders.
Compliance Officers play an important role in informing and educating hunters of their requirements, as well as the consequences of non-compliance. In addition, the Branch ensures that participants have the opportunity to raise issues of concern and participate in workshops and discussion forums staged by the GLU.
Where possible, the GLU will seek opportunities to engage with hunting stakeholders during the development of its systems and programs.
The GLU supports and encourages voluntary compliance through a range of educational activities which aim to build the capacity of the community to play an active role in complying with regulations and reporting instances of non-compliance. These education activities include:
GLU uses routine inspections and audits as a method of collecting information and monitoring compliance, particularly on State forests open for hunting. During these audits direct stakeholder engagement through covert and overt patrols and covert electronic surveillance using cameras is undertaken.
GLU uses investigations as a key means of assessing reported or detected incidents or significant breaches of legislation to determine the priority for further compliance action. During an investigation, authorised officers gather evidence about the incident in order to establish whether an offence has occurred, the severity of the offence, and the identity of those who may be responsible. This evidence may take the form of videos, photographs and seized items and other forms of physical evidence, witness statements and records of interview, consistent with legislative powers.
Risk-based compliance is about prioritising efforts to assist , identifying and enforcing compliance. The GLU has adopted a risk-based strategic approach to the application of enforcement and implemented a regulatory strategy that:
The GLU strives for a coordinated, transparent and accountable compliance system and recognises that the most effective way to achieve compliance is to involve regulated parties during the regulatory and policy development stage.
Extending beyond regulatory and legislative development when the Branch is creating program-specific policies, consultations with stakeholders are undertaken to ensure transparency, openness and visible accountability.
Compliance incentive can be an effective tool to encourage voluntary compliance. GLU is committed to the use of appropriate incentives to encourage voluntary compliance within regulated communities and will identify and implement incentives where appropriate.
The Branch undertakes a range of pro-active, planned monitoring and inspection programs to determine the level of compliance within a regulated community.
Pro-active inspection programs can include:
Reactive monitoring and inspections are undertaken in response to, complaints, incidents or other intelligence information gathered. This is mainly conducted on declared public land. For private land, Police have been identified as the most appropriate reactive agency to respond to illegal hunting incidents.
The GLU applies a risk-based approach to reactive monitoring. This allows the Unit to achieve the best outcomes and to minimise the burden on regulated entities that are found to be complying or have only minor non-compliance issues. The GLU assesses reports at the point of receipt based on information obtained from the complainant. All complaints are added to the GLU Compliance Database and used to assess priority areas.
The following issues will be considered and balanced in making a decision as to the type of compliance action, if any, that applies.
Regular monitoring of compliance is an essential component of the GLU's regulatory framework. Risk assessments of regulated entities will be continually reviewed and improved based on up-to-date information through an annual review of the GLU's Regulatory Strategy. Information provided during this review will allow the GLU to adjust and:
|Appointment of inspectors|
|Identification cards for inspectors|
|Authorisation of use of reasonable force to gain entry to premises|
|Suspension or cancellation of licences|
|1||30/05/2016||Revised policy following implementation of the QRSI.||Director Game Licensing|
Game Licensing Unit
02 6391 3750