NSW Stock Theft, Trespass and Illegal Hunting: Bradshaw Review Final Report Delivered

Wednesday 30 August 2017 @ 2.18 p.m. | Legal Research

On 21 August 2017, Minister for Police Troy Grant announced the NSW Government will strengthen laws concerning stock theft, trespass and illegal hunting following a review of the current law by former NSW Police Force Assistant Commissioner Steve Bradshaw.

The Bradshaw Review - Report and Recommendations

The Bradshaw Review was announced by the Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice and Police on 25 February 2016 along with specific terms of reference. 

Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice and Police Troy Grant said at the time that "a rise in reports of stock theft, particularly feral goats in Western NSW", sparked the review into trespass, poaching and illegal hunting, whose terms of reference included the following questions:

  1. Are the current offences and penalties relating to stock theft and trespass adequate to address the impact of these acts on primary producers and rural businesses? If not, what amendments could be made to address this?
  2. Does the current system under which stock is identified, transferred and sold effectively protect the property interests of primary producers? If not, what amendments could be made to address this?
  3. Are police and staff of other relevant agencies appropriately empowered and trained to investigate and prosecute stock theft? If not, what amendments could be made to address this?
  4. What can NSW learn from other Australian jurisdictions in terms of improving our response to stock theft?

The Final Bradshaw Review was delivered with 22 recommendations which identified a number of areas for improvement in responding to rural crime from both an operational and legislative perspective.

NSW Government Proposals

According to the Minister for Police, the Bradshaw Review highlighted a number of common concerns amongst victims, including that the costs associated with rural crime are often not reflected in the penalties delivered by the courts, as well as deficiencies in the law regarding trespass.

In response to these issues raised in the report, the NSW Government will propose:

  • a new aggravated trespass offence where there is an enhanced biosecurity risk, intent to engage in stock theft, or the presence of hunting equipment;
  • a specific reference to a victim’s geographical isolation as an aggravating factor on sentence;
  • the ability to apply to the Local Court for a forced muster order, which will assist victims of stock theft;
  • a deeming provision that will help to provide certainty of ownership to those who harvest rangeland goats for commercial gain;
  • increased flexibility for police to seize vehicles connected with a game hunting offence; and
  • the doubling of the maximum financial penalty for illegal hunting on private land from $1,100 to $2,200.

Minister for Police Troy Grant said:

“The unique features and challenges of crime in rural and regional areas demands a tailored response...We must ensure that the police respond to reports of crime in a timely fashion and have the necessary skills and knowledge of their local communities to hold those responsible for these crimes to account."

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