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Hunting on Private Land

Hunting on Private Land is an offence under Section 28J of the Summary Offences Act 1988 which carries a maximum penalty of 12 months in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You entered private land
  2. You hunted an animal on the land, and
  3. You did not have the consent of the land owner or occupier to do so

‘private land’ is ‘a holding and land not including or being public land’.

An ‘animal’ is any vertebrate animal except a fish.

‘Hunt’ includes search for, pursue, trail, stalk or drive out the animal in order to capture, trap, harm or kill it.

You are not guilty if you can persuade the court that you had a ‘reasonable excuse’ for your actions, including:

  1. You did not know the land was private
  2. You were an Aboriginal member of a land council, or were in the company of a land council member, and you undertook traditional cultural hunting within the council area
  3. You were an Aboriginal person who entered the land and hunted pursuant to a native title right or interest, or
  4. Your actions were pursuant to a biosecurity, emergency or control order

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