The future is brighter for newly discovered species in Australia today, with a Senate Inquiry report into a Greens bill recommending the closure of a loophole that would prevent newly discovered animals from receiving emergency protection.
“The report recommends a middle ground between the Government’s position and the Greens’ bill, which is a welcome step towards better protecting threatened species,” Australian Greens environment spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters said.
“The loophole in the Government’s proposed reforms would only allow emergency protection of threatened species to be granted during the first four weeks of the federal environmental assessment process, totally undermining emergency protection for threatened species which are usually discovered much later during on-ground studies.
“The Greens are delighted that the Government has decided to meet us halfway and extend the period for emergency protection to include the time when they are most likely to be discovered, creating a law that will actually work.
“If these changes were in place when the Cape York crab and shrimp were discovered on Rio Tinto’s proposed bauxite mine site, it would have meant we could have given them a chance to survive rather than the Minister being precluded from considering their very existence.
“I welcome the Government’s willingness to work with the Greens on this issue, and look forward to this legislation bringing about a brighter future for our unique wildlife facing extinction.”