On National Threatened Species Day, Senator Whish-Wilson and Rosalie Woodruff MP highlight proposed EPBC law changes and the implications they have for Tasmania in the transfer of powers from the Commonwealth to the state.
Quotes attributable to Senator Whish-Wilson:
"This all started here in Tasmania in the fight to save the Franklin river.
"It was a watershed moment that led to the realisation that states could not go unchecked and strong environmental laws would be needed to prevent this from ever happening again.
"In the decades since, though, these laws have failed us.
"Australia now has one of the worst extinction rates in the world.
"Sadly, in Tasmania we are at the forefront of this and our extinctions send a warning to the rest of the world.
"The thylacine is recognised globally as the very symbol of the word and this year the first ever extinction of a bony marine fish was declared here in Tasmania.
"It beggars belief that in the midst of a climate emergency, the Government is looking to weaken our environmental laws even further.
"The Tasmanian devil is critically endangered but it would probably be extinct by now if it was left in the hands of our state government.
"The Franklin river would be no more.
"The future of our environmental laws is now in the hands of the Senate when Parliament next resumes - the fight is not over yet."
Quotes attributable to Rosalie Woodruff MP:
"National Threatened Species Day marks the day the last thylacine died.
"Despite this stark lesson, unfortunately more and more species continue to move further down the thylacine’s tragic path, with 2020 marking the extinction of another unique Tasmanian species - the smooth handfish.
"Instead of learning the lessons of Tasmania’s past, the Liberals came into office and cut the expert staff from DPIPWE’s Threatened Species Unit to nothing.
"Hundreds of threatened species are without an up to date ‘recovery plan’, and only a select few have any population monitoring, at the most inadequate level.
"This government now has the rare dishonour of having overseen the extinction of a marine fish for the first time in modern history.
"Not only have the Liberals cut resources to threatened species protection, they are also destroying critical wildlife habitat.
"Tasmania’s forests are home to a large number of threatened and endangered species, but they’re being logged at an accelerating rate.
"The same destructive logging practices that have seen the swift parrot, Tasmanian devil, masked owl and wedge-tailed eagle become more threatened are continuing in Tasmania. Forestry Tasmania and the Liberals are putting these iconic, precious species at greater risk of extinction.
"We are in a climate and global biodiversity crisis, and it is critical to do everything we can to protect, and improve, the natural world that sustains us."