The National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (NPW Act) makes provision for hunting and food gathering by Aboriginal peoples. Under the legislation, Aboriginal peoples may take protected animals or the eggs of a protected animal from land that is not a reserve.

Aboriginal peoples can also take native plants from Crown Land, any public land or any forest reserve. Taking native plants 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 their dependents, or
  • solely for cultural purposes of Aboriginal origin.

The following reserves have been proclaimed as reserves where an Aboriginal person 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 hunting and gathering by Aboriginal peoples is or is not permitted. They can also be used to nominate species that may or may not be taken by Aboriginal peoples.

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 hunting and gathering by Aboriginal peoples is available from the Fauna Permit Unit.