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Federal intervention needed to tackle feral deer in lutruwita/Tasmania

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 1 May 2022

It is an indictment on the Tasmanian Government that the state's natural environmental values, agricultural productivity, and cultural heritage have been so badly impacted by feral deer mismanagement. 

In a balance of power situation after the federal election, the Greens will push for federal intervention to fix the critical threat of feral deer on lutruwita/Tasmania’s biodiversity and cultural heritage.

Quotes attributable to Greens senator for lutruwita/Tasmania, Peter Whish-Wilson: 

“Invasive species like feral deer pose a critical threat to lutruwita/Tasmania’s biodiversity and cultural heritage. They inhibit fire recovery, trample cushion plants, destroy fences and crops, and cost Tasmanian farmers $80m a year.

“It is an indictment on the Tasmanian Government that the state's natural environmental values, agricultural productivity, and cultural heritage have been so badly impacted by feral deer mismanagement. 

“The State Government is failing to halt the spread of this pest and we now desperately need federal intervention. 

“In 2018, the Australian Greens led a Senate committee inquiry into the impact of feral deer, pigs and goats in Australia. The Senate inquiry report identifies that Federal Government funding is now needed to eradicate deer in Tasmania’s World Heritage Area, and it is encouraging that the Federal parliament recognises a zero-tolerance approach to deer in World Heritage Areas.

"The Greens plan will push for a standalone Key Threatening Process listing for feral deer in the EPBC Act, accompanied by a Threat Abatement Plan, to enhance the focus on controlling feral deer impacts.

“We will also push for necessary changes to existing legislative and regulatory frameworks to ensure that feral deer are treated as an environmental pest. 

“The Liberals have all but given up on stopping exploding feral deer numbers at a federal level: their department’s factsheet is over ten years old, and there is little specific reference to deer compared to other animals. Meanwhile the Labor Party isn't much better. 

“Only the Greens have a plan to tackle this issue head on and work cooperatively across all levels of government to stop the spread of this pest.”

THE GREENS WILL: 

  • End the protection for feral deer 
  • Initiate and fund a process for a standalone Key Threatening Process listing for feral deer in the EPBC Act 
  • Implement and fund a Threat Abatement Plan following any declaration of them as a "threatening process"
  • Implement a Code of Practice for the humane control of Feral Deer 
  • Review the roles of the Biosecurity Committee and Environment and Invasives Committee
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