ACT Government to ban harmful wildlife fruit netting in move to protect native species


Today, the ACT Government will introduce legislation to ban the use of harmful wildlife fruit netting in gardens across Canberra. 

Minister for the Environment Rebecca Vassarotti said the Government introduced the legislation in response to a Private Member’s Bill introduced by Jo Clay MLA in October of last year.  

“The ACT in facing an extinction crisis. In a crisis, you need to do everything you can to protect native wildlife from population decline.” Minister Vassarotti said.  

“This is a small change that will make a big difference to the lives of fruit bats and other wildlife in the ACT.  

“When our natural environment is in sharp decline, these small changes can add up to make a big difference. 

“Netting can be an important resource for Canberra gardeners to protect their crops from local wildlife.  

“However, they can also put our native wildlife, such as fruit bats, birds, snakes and lizards at risk. By using wildlife friendly netting, you can protect your fruiting plants as well as our native wildlife.  
In addition retailers who continue to sell the prohibited netting will be required to display signage informing customers about the new fruit tree netting requirements. 

“Notably, this legislation comes hand in hand with a new program funded the ACT Government to replace harmful fruit netting for free. 

“This replacement program will give everyone the opportunity to make the change to netting friendly to our native wildlife and their fruiting plants.” Minister Vassarotti said. 

Recommended fruit netting is defined as having a mesh size of 5mm x 5mm or smaller, with no gaps for wildlife to enter from the ground or sky. If your finger can fit through the mesh, it is unsafe. 

Find out more about wildlife safe fruit-tree netting on the ACT Government Environment website.