Tasmania on path to increase fines for offences against threatened species

Tasmania’s lower house has voted in favour of imposing a maximum 12-month jail sentence on people who take or kill threatened species.

The government was prompted to act on current legislation after the shooting deaths of three threatened eagles since last May.

There is a maximum penalty of $15,900 under the Threatened Species Protection Act and no provisions to impose a prison sentence.

Environment Minister Elise Archer said penalties for taking threatened species were substantially greater in other states and including significantly higher fines and custodial sentences.

Under the amendments passed in the House of Assembly, the maximum fine for an offence under the act would be $100,011 and a maximum 12-month custodial would also be introduced.

This could be in addition to, or as alternative to, a monetary fine.

The amended legislation will now head to the Legislative Council for scrutiny.