The Australian Greens have unveiled a $120 million plan aimed at protecting the nation’s animals and plants from extinction through habitat destruction, pollution and invasive species.
The plan would see $30 million a year invested in scientific studies to map Australia’s important habitats and then to protect those with bioregional plans. Another $10 million a year would be invested in the listing of threatened species, the development of recovery plans and additional research to turn around Australia’s biodiversity decline.
With more than 20 per cent of its mammal species facing extinction, Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne says Australia risks losing some of its “greatest natural treasures” if action is not taken.
“Here in Queensland, we’re on the brink of losing bilbies with fewer than 700 left in the wild. In my home state, Tasmanian devils, bandicoots, quolls and Wedge-tailed eagles are all under threat,” Milne said.
“But instead of tackling this, Kevin Rudd wants to cut millions from the Biodiversity Fund and Tony Abbott wants to hand back environmental protection to the states.”
Recent analysis of global biodiversity funding found that Australia ranked among 40 countries spending the least in comparison to its global legacy of species. According to some experts in the field, axing the Biodiversity Fund to compensate for the shift to a floating carbon price may see Australia join countries like Iraq and the Congo at the very bottom of that list.