The National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (NPW Act) makes provision for hunting and food gathering by Aboriginal people. Under the legislation, Aboriginal people may take a protected animal or the egg of a protected animal from land that is not a reserve.
Aboriginal people can also take a native plant from Crown Land, any public land or any forest reserve. Taking a native plant from a national park or conservation park is not permitted unless a proclamation has been made by the governor permitting it.
The protected animal, egg or plant can only be used for:
- food for the person who takes it or for his or her dependants, or
- solely for cultural purposes of Aboriginal origin.
The following reserves have been proclaimed as reserves where an Aboriginal may take a protected animal, egg or a native plant:
What can and can't be done on reserves, with regards to hunting and gathering, can be restricted by proclamations made under the NPW Act. Such restrictions can apply to the whole of the reserve, to a specific location or a species within that reserve. The proclamations can be used to nominate areas (or zones) where Aboriginal hunting and gathering are or are not permitted. They can also be used to nominate species that may or may not be taken by Aboriginal people.
Hunting and gathering by non-indigenous people within reserves is only permitted in very specific circumstances, such as feral animal control programs. It is subject to the approval of the Director, National Parks and Wildlife.
Advice about reserve proclamations and Aboriginal hunting and gathering is available from the Fauna Permit Unit.