Comments on this application closed 26 October 2018. The text and documents below remain available for reference only.
Invitation to comment
The Minister for the Environment and Energy is considering granting a permit to the Queensland Museum, to import multiple hard coral specimens (Scleractinia spp.) from various countries under the exceptional circumstances provision (section 303GB) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
The Queensland Museum, a Queensland statutory authority, has historically received hard coral specimens (CITES Appendix II) from various countries, on an ad hoc basis, for taxonomic identification and subsequent re-export. This institution is considered an expert in coral taxonomy and has provided this service to a number of researchers throughout the world.
Under Section 303GB 1(c) of the EPBC Act, in order to issue an exceptional circumstances permit, the Minister or delegate must be satisfied that:
- the export or import of the specimen, as the case may be, would not be contrary to the objects of this Part; and
- exceptional circumstances exist that justify the proposed export or import of the specimen; and
- the export or import of the specimen, as the case may be, would not adversely affect biodiversity.
Under Section 303GB 1(A) the Minister or delegate must not issue a permit under this section unless the grant of that permit would not be contrary to CITES.
The Department of the Environment and Energy is considering this application under the exceptional circumstances provision because:
- the proposed import of the corals would not be contrary to the objectives of Part 13A of the EPBC Act;
- it is believed exceptional circumstances justify the proposed import, being:
- the importer performs a valuable service to the scientific community through providing a better understanding and increased knowledge of hard corals that can assist conservation of coral species and reef ecosystems;
- the corals are imported purely for the purpose of taxonomic identification; and
- the import of the coral is non-commercial
- the proposed import would not adversely affect biodiversity, as the coral is non-live, consists of very small quantities and must be approved by Biosecurity Australia prior to importation into Australia.
- the grant of the permit would not be contrary to CITES.
Should the permit be granted, it is proposed that a condition will be imposed which specifies that during or after the research, the importer must not allow the specimens/s to be used for commercial purposes. In the majority of cases most specimens are exported back to the country of origin.
How can I get involved
The public are invited to provide written comments on the proposal to issue this permit. Please include your full name and address in your submission. Any written comments will be considered by the delegate in making the decision.
Comments must be submitted by 26 October 2018.
Send your comments
Please address any comments to:
Wildlife Trade Assessments
Department of the Environment and Energy
GPO Box 787
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Personal information that you provide will only be used for these purposes. Personal information may be disclosed to employees of Australian Government agencies assisting the Minister.