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The Auditor-General’s recent review of our state’s biodiversity Protecting Victoria’s Biodiversity spells out a bleak reality. To put it bluntly, our state is an extinction disgrace.
And 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.
The Auditors-General’s scathing report reveals Victoria is responsible for over half of all wildlife extinctions in Australia.
Over 2000 of Victoria’s terrestrial plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals, invertebrates and ecological communities are considered to be at threat of extinction. The Humpback Whale, the Spot-tailed Quoll and even our state faunal emblem the Leadbeater’s Possum are just a few examples.
This isn’t the result of a lack of knowledge, policies or programs. It’s a failure to actually use the tools we have, commit the required funding, and follow-through with action. Frankly speaking, the avoidable decline of our unique plants, animals and landscapes isn’t an accident, it’s neglect.
The report is a long and depressing list of failures: not using existing mechanisms under our state nature laws; out of date/missing threatened species recovery plans; limited monitoring and reporting; and seriously inadequate funding.
We don’t know if our elected representatives share the same vision as our community of nature-lovers, but we do know that at the moment they don’t prioritise conservation. It makes sense to invest in a healthy environment. Not only that, it’s achievable. For the cost of two level crossing removals we could see lasting benefits for the health of our invaluable natural heritage.
Help us call on the Andrews Government to commit to:
- A dedicated long-term threatened species program for Victoria
- Expanded public funding for land conservation programs
- A Land Conservation fund that “purchase, protect, resells” high conservation private land
- Strengthen the Wildlife Act to properly protect all native species.
Victoria has let 81 species go extinct. This appalling list will only grow unless our leaders take decisive action by increasing investment in a healthy natural environment that our wildlife, and we, depend on.
This report is very sobering, but it’s also an opportunity for our elected representatives to turn the situation around.
It’s time for the Victorian Government to halt Victoria’s extinction crisis.