Victorian environment groups are marking National Threatened Species Day by calling on the Andrews Labor government to take decisive action to protect forest wildlife from logging and fast track a long overdue action plan for the vulnerable Greater Glider.
Concerns are being raised that despite Premier Andrews Forest Industry Taskforce reaching key agreements on the urgent need to protect forests and threatened species habitats, logging has continued unabated in critical habitat.
Image: Recent logging of Greater Glider habitat in East Gippsland
“Over 14 months ago Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio listed the Greater Glider as vulnerable to extinction, yet a legally required action plan to protect the species hasn’t seen the light of day,” said Goongerah Environment Centre spokesperson Ed Hill.
“Meanwhile the state owned logging company VicForests is conducting unethical experiments by logging high quality habitat to see how many Greater Gliders are killed.”
“Promises of a Greater Glider action plan are wearing thin, it’s time the Victorian government took decisive action to protect forest wildlife and accepted clear and unequivocal scientific evidence that logging is a driving force behind the decline of iconic forest animals.”
“The fate of Victoria’s forest dependent threatened species is being being dictated by toxic politics, whilst scientific evidence is being rejected. Critical habitat is being bulldozed and burnt as the Victorian government ignores its legal responsibilities.”
“Minister Lily D’Ambrosio appears unable to fulfil her responsibilities to protect threatened species due to political circumstances. The long delay in creation of legally required protections for the Greater Glider appears to be a result of a toxic political climate.”
“The politicisation of threatened species management must end and rational science based policy must be implemented.
“Actions to protect threatened species need to be based on science and what species need to persist in the wild, instead the current policy is one that favours the interests of the tax-payer funded logging industry.”
“Despite key agreements to protect forests being reached between the timber and paper industry, CFMEU and conservation groups as part of the Premier Andrew’s Forest Industry Taskforce, the government has sat on its hands and failed to take decisive action to implement those joint agreements.”
“Today commemorates the death of the last Tasmanian Tiger that died in captivity in 1936. The apathy and neglect of this supposedly progressive government is repeating the mistakes of the past and driving species to extinction.”
“It’s time for Victorian Labor to once and for all show leadership and take decisive action to protect forests from logging. They must seize this opportunity now or face an inevitable backlash at the ballot box this November.”
Environment groups will convene a mock “Threatened Species Parliament” this Sunday and table the Ending Extinction Bill. Conservationists will convene at Parliament Reserve at 11am on Sunday September 9th.
Media contact: Ed Hill – 0414 199 645 firstname.lastname@example.org