The Australian Greens are calling for the federal government to keep responsibility for the protection of Australian wildlife in danger of extinction, on National Threatened Species Day today.
The Australian Labor Government, with the support of the Coalition, is planning to weaken the national environment laws by handing over their powers over threatened species to the state governments.
“The number of species on the threatened species list has nearly tripled in the last twenty years, and there are many more facing extinction that aren’t even on the list yet,” Australian Greens environment spokesperson, Senator Larissa Waters, said.
“We are in danger of losing more wildlife than ever before, and yet at this critical time, the federal environment minister Tony Burke is planning to wash his hands of threatened species and leave them to mercy of the states.
“In Tasmania, numbers of the beautiful Tassie Devil are dwindling due to facial tumour disease, and yet the Tasmanian Government wants to open up the Devils’ home, the pristine Tarkine forests, for tin mining.
“In Victoria, bushfires have reduced the state emblem, Leadbeater’s Possum, to about a thousand living in the wild, yet the Victorian Government are still determined to log the native forest that is part of their last remaining habitat.
“And in my home state of Queensland, where rampant development has already pushed our iconic koala into rapid decline and onto the threatened species list, the Premier has today given the green light to shoot flying foxes, another nationally listed threatened species facing extinction.
“This move by the Australian Government to push off most of their responsibilities for the environment onto the states could be the final nail in the coffin for our endangered wildlife and precious places – they must reverse this disastrous plan before it’s too late.”
Media contact: Elissa McKay 0419 626 725