Following commencement of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act) on 25 August 2017, there are increased penalties for not complying with the rules related to interactions with native animals and plants.
The BC Act includes a range of offences, such as:
- harming threatened and protected animals
- picking threatened and protected plants
- dealing in threatened and protected animals and plants, for example, buying or selling, trading, or importing into or exporting from NSW
- damaging habitat of a threatened species or ecological community
- breaching a licence condition
- providing false or misleading information in matters relating to the BC Act; for example, licence applications.
There are substantial maximum penalties for offences under the BC Act.
The BC Act provides for tiered offences. The tiers reflect the degree of risk to native animals and corresponding penalty amounts/jail terms. Conduct by individuals and corporations is also differentiated.
||Maximum penalties for individuals*
||Maximum penalties for corporations*
|Threatened species (other than vulnerable species)
||$330,000 plus $33,000 per animal and/or 2 years jail
||$1.65 million plus $165,000 per animal and/or 2 years jail
||$88,000 plus $8,800 per animal
||$440,000 plus $44,000 per animal
||$22,000 plus $2,200 per animal
||$110,000 plus $11,000 per animal
* Additional penalty per animal does not apply to breach of licence conditions
Penalty notice offences
Offences under the BC Act can also be dealt with by way of a penalty notice.
For example, the penalty notice amount for damaging the habitat of a threatened species or ecological community is:
- $3300 for individuals
- $16,500 for corporations.