The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) has welcomed an announcement by the federal government which will see 30 per cent of all land in Australia dedicated to conservation by the year 2030.
The plan, announced this morning by Minister for the Environment Tanya Plibersek, came in the form of a new 10-year ‘Threatened Species Action Plan’ which sets out the government’s ambition to ‘protect, manage and restore Australia’s threatened species and important natural places’.
Among the detail was an ‘objective’ to prevent any new extinctions of Australian wildlife. There was also the announcement that a further 10 threatened species at imminent risk of extinction would be added to the list of 100 priority species.
Ms Plibersek said that Australia was the “mammal extinction capital of the world” and that the targets - ‘the strongest seen’ in Australia - were part of an attempt to reverse the current threats to the natural environment, as documented in the most recent State of the Environment report.
“Our current approach has not been working. If we keep doing what we’ve been doing, we’ll keep getting the same results”, she said.
Maggie Wood from the Conservation Council of WA said that the plan would be particularly welcome in Western Australia, which has a disproportionately high number of mammal species at risk of extinction over the next 20 years, according to the government’s State of Environment report.
“We have already lost so many species to habitat loss and climate change”, Maggie said.
“We need decisive action to protect what remains and today’s announcement is a positive first step after a prolonged period of inaction and hesitation from our leaders.
“There is a lot of work to be done, particularly here in WA. Our state accounts for a third of all Australia’s mammal extinctions and we are failing badly in critical areas of habitat, from the far north of Kimberley to our South-West’s native forests.
“An intervention, now, could be the lifeline that is desperately needed for the likes of the black cockatoo; Gilbert’s potoroo; the western ringtail possum; the bilby and the numbat.
“But any plan, no matter how ambitious or extensive, cannot succeed if it is made to compete with the unchecked special interests of heavy industry, the fossil fuel lobby and its powerful friends in the federal and state parliament.
“Time and again we have seen conservation and the well-being of our natural environment cast aside to make way for more and more poorly planned infrastructure, unnecessary industrialisation and fossil fuel export hubs. That situation must change.
“What Australia's nature needs is investment in restoration and a wholesale strengthening of the existing federal environmental laws – including an overhaul of the EPBC act.”
MEDIA INFORMATION: The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) is the state’s foremost non-profit, non-government conservation organisation representing more than 100 environmental organisations across Western Australia.
For more information, visit: ccwa.org.au.
CONTACT: For any enquiries relating to this release, please contact Robert Davies
08 9420 7291 / 0412 272 570 or by email, [email protected]