The Minister should suspend the April 4th opening of the non-commercial harvesting season for short-tailed Shearwaters if he cannot guarantee the review of the licencing scheme will be finalised before that date.
“Revelations that Muttonbird licences have been issued to three people born in or after 2011, which would make the holders at the most three years old, have exposed serious flaws that require urgent attention by the Minister,” Greens Environment spokesperson Nick McKim MP said.
“The Department’s own licence information sheet makes it clear that the taking of Muttonbirds under another person’s licence is unlawful.”
“The Minister must investigate whether these potential three year olds have been killing Muttonbird chicks themselves, or whether somebody else has under their licence.”
“The Minister must also investigate whether these children held licences in previous seasons and if so, whether a take return for that season was submitted. It is the Greens’ understanding that it is unlawful for a licence holder to not submit a take return.”
“It is all very well for the Minister to say he is reviewing the situation, but if that cannot be done properly and rigorously before the opening of the Muttonbird season next week, then he should move to suspend the season,” Mr McKim said.