Australian Greens environment spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters is introducing a bill today for emergency protection of newly discovered species.
New species of crab and freshwater shrimp have been found in a small area right next to a planned expansion of Rio Tinto’s bauxite mining operations on Cape York.
“Experts are saying that these new species are not found anywhere else in the world, yet our current national environmental laws would allow the mine to destroy them,” Senator Waters said.
“It would be a travesty to send a new species to extinction before it’s even been named and identified as threatened.
“Two more frogs on Cape York and a dolphin in Victoria have also recently been discovered – we have no idea what other undiscovered, rare species are out there in need of urgent protection.
“Emergency listing of threatened species is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal government reform package for the EPBC Act, designed primarily to turn our environment into a ‘one stop shop’ for business.
“But waiting until next year to pass this amendment as part of the EPBC reform package won’t help these rare and precious animals on Cape York.
“We want the Government to bring forward this positive commitment and my bill today will do just that.
“If the Government has any desire to prevent rampant development from destroying newly discovered rare species, they will support this bill to fast-track emergency listing of threatened species and ecological communities.”