To put it bluntly, our state is an extinction disgrace.
Since colonisation, 81 species have been driven to extinction. Today, over 2000 of Victoria’s plants, animals and ecological communities are considered to be at threat of extinction.
The Auditor-General has delivered a scathing report of the Victorian Government’s failure to protect our most threatened species.
Instead of fixing this mess, the Victorian Government is presiding over the demise of our irreplaceable native plants and animals.
It’s time for the Victorian Government to stop planning the decline of our wildlife and start planning their recovery.
Please call on the Premier, Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Environment Minister to keep our already threatened species off the extinction list.
We’ll send the following message on your behalf. You can include your own words for more impact.
Dear Premier Daniel Andrews,
Deputy Premier James Merlino,
Treasurer Tim Pallas,
Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio,
Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes,
I write to call on you to please act on Victoria’s extinction disgrace.
The Victorian Auditor-General’s Office report Protecting Victoria’s Biodiversity provides a scathing assessment of the failure of a plethora of Victorian Government policies and programs designed to stop the decline and extinction of Victoria’s unique plants and animals.
It confirms my worst fears about the state of our natural environment. Unless we see a concerted effort by the state government to use the key legislative tools and commit more funding, we will lose more of our irreplaceable native species.
Today, between one quarter and a third of all of Victoria’s terrestrial plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals, along with numerous invertebrates and ecological communities, are considered to be at threat of extinction.
Victoria has a shocking 1,994 species and over 40 communities listed under its threatened species laws – not something to be proud of. We have over 1,000 species listed as endangered, such as the Humpback Whale and Spot-tailed Quoll, and over 500 listed as critically endangered, including our state faunal emblem the Leadbeater’s Possum.
It is one of the worst records in the world for a developed nation – completely unacceptable for a wealthy, developed and progressive state like Victoria.
The Auditor-General’s report makes it clear that instead of reversing the decline of our precious wildlife, the Victorian Government is in fact presiding over their demise. It confirms that with current funding and policy settings, the Victorian Government is planning to fail by setting our threatened species on a path to extinction.
Victoria has already allowed 81 species to go extinct since European settlement, and more will meet the same end unless we take decisive action and investment to turn the situation around.
As outlined in the Auditor-General’s report, even the largest biodiversity funding bid by the state environment department, a proposed $269 million over four years (about $67 million per annum), is relatively small and very achievable in the scheme of things. It’s about the same cost as two level crossing removals, and would bring real and lasting benefits for Victoria’s invaluable natural heritage (while likely being good for regional jobs and economy).
I am calling on the Andrews Government to commit to:
1. A dedicated long-term threatened species program for Victoria, of between at least $200-$300 million which will:
- Take all available actions under state threatened species laws to protect species in decline,
- Improve prioritisation of threatened species for protection,
- Enable enhanced and targeted landscape programs to control key threats and facilitate recovery.
2. Expanded public funding for land conservation programs including core management funding for Parks Victoria, Community Action, Landcare and expanded Traditional Owner joint management on Country.
3. New $30-$50 million for a Land Conservation Revolving fund which “purchase, protect, resells” high conservation private land to be run by the Trust for Nature.
4. Strengthen the Wildlife Act to properly protect all native species.