Our mission

Our mission is to be an effective, trusted, best practice regulator

Our responsibilities

We are responsible for the regulation of timber harvesting, fire prevention, use of public land, wildlife and biodiversity.

We oversee these regulatory functions by:

  • educating the community about the laws governing conservation and environment protection in Victoria
  • providing guidance and support to encourage compliance
  • monitoring compliance with regulatory requirements and taking enforcement action against non-compliance

Regulatory priorities

Each year our regulatory priorities are reviewed. Our regulatory priorities for 2020/21 are:

  • Illegal campfires
  • Illegal take of firewood
  • Illegal vehicle use on public land
  • regulating native timber harvesting
  • regulating the use, keeping, trade, treatment and control of wildlife

The 2020/21 Regulatory Priorities can be found below.

What we aim to achieve

We use regulation to achieve 3 central outcomes. We want to make sure that:  

  1. Everyone has equitable and safe access to public land and use of natural resources.  
  2. We protect the natural and heritage elements of our land for future generations to enjoy. 
  3. Victoria is a place of socially, economically and environmentally sustainable communities.  

Who we work with 

Two of the most important elements of our approach to regulation are collaboration and engagement.  

We develop and maintain relationships with communities, Traditional Owners, co-regulators, regulated parties and peak bodies. 

These relationships and strong networks help us to conduct risk-based and intelligence-led regulation. The better the information we can gather, the more easily we can identify emerging risks to the environment we protect.  


  • The Chief Conservation Regulator, Kate Gavens, leads the Conservation Regulator and is accountable for decision-making.

  • The Conservation Regulator’s Independent Regulation Advisory Panel (IRAP) provides the Chief Conservation Regulator with independent expert advice on best practice approaches to regulating. The Panel Members include Jane Brockington, Dariel De Sousa and Adam Beaumont.

    IRAP advises on the Conservation Regulator’s settings for regulatory policy and governance, as well as operational oversight. The Chief Conservation Regulator also refers matters to IRAP for their expert opinion.

  • The Conservation Regulator’s  Stakeholder Reference Group provides advice and support the Chief Conservation Regulator in being an effective, trusted, best practice regulator for the Victorian community and environment.

    The Stakeholder Reference Group includes members who represent a range of perspectives:

    • Australian Trail Horse Riders Association
    • Australian Veterinary Association
    • Environmental Justice Australia
    • Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporation
    • Great Forest National Park
    • Jacobs
    • Local Government representative
    • Victorian Association of Forest Industries Inc
    • Victorian Farmers Federation
    • Victorian National Parks Association
    • Wildlife of the Central Highlands 
    • Wildlife Victoria

    The Stakeholder Reference Group provides advice to the Chief Conservation Regulator on:

    • supporting a robust understanding of the drivers (reasons) that lead to breaches of regulations and how the regulator can address them
    • supporting the design and delivery of an effective mix of regulatory activities in accordance with current legislation
    • providing feedback on our communication and engagement approach
    • prioritising effort across a diverse range of regulatory obligations
    • providing feedback on the effectiveness of the regulatory and opportunities for improvement

Reviewed 26 April 2021

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