Right now submissions are open into the Victorian Parliamentary inquiry into ecosystem decline. The inquiry is an important opportunity to voice our concerns about how important Victoria's unique and threatened ecosystems and wildlife are, and that we expect the Victorian government to implement better laws, and stronger protections to halt the steep decline of threatened flora and fauna. Submissions close August 31.
How to make a submission
The submission scope includes:
1. The extent of the decline of Victoria’s biodiversity and the likely impact on people, particularly First Peoples, and ecosystems, if more is not done to address this, including consideration of climate change impacts;
2. The adequacy of the legislative framework protecting Victoria’s environment, including grasslands, forests and the marine and coastal environment, and native species;
3. The adequacy and effectiveness of government programs and funding protecting and restoring Victoria’s ecosystems;
4. Legislative, policy, program, governance and funding solutions to facilitate ecosystem and species protection, restoration and recovery in Victoria, in the context of climate change impacts;
5. Opportunities to restore Victoria’s environment while upholding First Peoples’ connection to country, and increasing and diversifying employment opportunities in Victoria.
The submission doesn't have to be long, or complicated. It can be a personal story about a place in nature you love, or something you've observed. Submissions will have way more impact if written in your own words.
Here are some suggestion on some of things you might like to focus your submission on:
- Impacts of native forest logging and land clearing as a key driver of biodiversity, threatened species and ecosystem decline.
- The catastrophic impacts of the 2019/2020 bushfires which wiped out over 1 billion native animals, and over 70% of forests in East Gippsland.
- No consent from Traditional Owners in regards to logging, no consideration of the cultural and spiritual significance of forests and wildlife to First Nations Peoples, no consideration or acknowledgement of the impacts of environmental degradation on First Nations Peoples.
- The impacts of climate change on threatened species, and the strong links between climate change and bushfires, which poses a severe threat to the continued survival of threatened species and ecosystems.
- Inadequate protections for threatened species and their habitat.
- Weak and ineffective state and federal environmental regulation.
- Lack of funding for National Parks, restoration projects, weed and pest control
- A rapid transition out of native forest logging to remove one of the key drivers of decline of threatened species in Victoria. Key areas of habitat must be identified and protected, as critical areas which threatened species rely on to survive are still under threat of logging.
- Greater protections for threatened species against extractive industries such as logging, mining, development, and fossil-fuel projects. Climate change and bushfires also have significant and grave impacts on forests and wildlife. Taking strong action on climate change has the potential to halt these impacts to climate change vulnerable threatened species.
- Restoration of areas which have been heavily impacted by logging and other extractive industries, as well as areas impacted by the horrific 2019/2020 bushfires.
- Clear processes and actions to recognise and address the impacts of ecosystem decline on First Nations peoples, and prioritisation of First Nations voices and involvement in management of country and traditional lands, returning custodianship to Traditional Owners.
Thank you for taking the time to do a submission into the inquiry. There are heaps of other guides and resources out there to help you.
Check out these other guides here: