The Wildlife Act 1975 sets the rules around how people interact with wildlife in Victoria. It hasn’t been reviewed since it became law more than 45 years ago. Since then, community values and expectations around wildlife have changed significantly.

In May 2020, the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change announced a comprehensive review of the Wildlife Act. To inform the review, an independent expert advisory panel (the Panel), was appointed by the Minister. The Panel will prepare a report for the Minister with their recommendations by the end of August 2021.

Meet the Panel

From natural resource economics, public policy and law, to wildlife ethics and welfare, along with experience working closely with Traditional Owners, the Panel has expertise across a wide range of topics. The members of the Panel are:

Dr Deborah Peterson (Chairperson)

An eminent agricultural, environmental and natural resource economist, with extensive experience working in both the private and public sectors.

Associate Professor Ngaio Beausoleil

Co-Director of the Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre, Massey University, New Zealand and an expert in wildlife welfare and ethics.

Dr Jack Pascoe

A Yuin man living in Gadabanut country with expertise in ecological research and experience working with Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians.

Emeritus Professor Arie Freiberg AM

Has extensive experience and expertise in regulatory reform and is Chair of the Victorian Sentencing Advisory Council.

Have your say

The Panel is calling on all members of the Victorian community to have their say on what changes to the Act are necessary to establish a modern, best-practice regulatory framework for wildlife. By providing feedback, you can help inform recommendations for modernising the current Wildlife Act.

How you can participate

Read the attached fact sheet to learn more about the scope and guiding principles of the Panel’s review.

Submissions are now open. To contribute to the review, download the Panel's Issues Paper and:

  • answer some or all of the questions outlined in this Issues Paper via the form below, or
  • upload a submission.

You can also make a brief comment at any time on any issue within the scope of the review by using the general comment box below.

The closing date for submissions has been extended to 30 June 2021

Engagement with Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians

To help shape the future of the Wildlife Act, Panel member Jack Pascoe is engaging with Traditional Owner groups to seek their views on whether the Act appropriately recognises and protects their rights and interests around access to Victorian wildlife, and their future aspirations.

The poster below has been created to support these conversations. If you would like to share your views on this important reform, please contact the Panel at wildlifeact.review@delwp.vic.gov.au.


Below are the publicly available submissions to date (confidential submissions are not included).

Submissions from Environment and Community Groups

Submission_Hamilton Field Naturalist Club_w2
PDF (55.64 KB)
Submission_Friends of Bats and Bushcare 1_w37
PDF (238.25 KB)
Submission_Friends of Bats and Bushcare 2_w18
PDF (76.33 KB)

Find out more

For more information, please visit the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website.

Next steps

The Panel will be meeting with a wide range of stakeholders, including Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians and will consider all information and feedback received.

The Panel will prepare a report on their recommendations to change the Wildlife Act, which will be presented to the Minister by the end of August 2021.

All non-confidential submissions will be uploaded as they are received. Once this consultation page has closed for submissions, a summary of all submissions will be published on this website.

The Government will release the Panel’s report along with a response to the Panel’s recommendations, in the form of a draft Directions Paper for public consultation via Engage Victoria in early 2022.