The Landscape South Australia Bill 2019 which passed through Parliament this week establishes a new framework for how natural resources are managed based on a decentralised decision making process which puts communities and land owners at the centre.
The bill will see South Australia divided into landscape regions, each with a local board comprising of three elected members and four ministerial appointees. These boards will replace the existing Natural Resources Management (NRM) Boards in regional areas.
There are opportunities for deer hunting in driving a more practical, locally focused approach to deer management. There are also a number of threats, with the changes meaning that authorised officers will be able to issue enforceable action orders to landholders to control “pest animals”. This heavy-handed approach could conceivably extend to landholders who are sensibly and effectively managing wild deer on their properties using quality management principles by applying the principles of South Australia’s deeply flawed “feral deer strategy” - which ignores best practice in favour of an ideologically driven approach.
Quality management of wild deer typically involves keeping populations at relatively low densities and keeping hunters actively engaged in management. Habitats in South Australia which don't have quality deer management programs in place typically experience higher deer numbers and more negative impacts than those with good management agreements in place.