Conservation groups have welcomed moves towards improving transparency and increased publication of data on wildlife habitat clearing, as part of an announcement by the McGowan Government.
IMAGE: Western Ringtail Possum Mother and Baby CREDIT: Evan Webb
The new measures will be supported by increased fees charged for clearing permits, as part of a move towards cost recovery for the regulation of wildlife clearing in Western Australia.
Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) Director Piers Verstegen said the lack of transparency in how much native vegetation and wildlife habitat is being lost every year in WA has been a major concern for conservation groups for a long time.
“Alongside climate change, loss of wildlife habitat due to clearing, logging, and burning is regarded as a primary threat to our unique environment and wildlife here in WA.
“An essential first step in addressing this is getting a better understanding of exactly how much wildlife habitat is being lost each year by clearing, and where.
“Conservation groups, scientists, and even the Auditor General have continually raised concerns about the lack of publicly available data on how much wildlife clearing is occurring across the state, and other issues with the regulation of clearing in WA.
“We eagerly await further advice on what data will be released and when, but this could present a big step forward in transparency, and we welcome this as part of a move towards cost-recovery for native vegetation regulation in WA.”