Greens Prompt Action by Barnett on Biodiversity

The Greens initiative to improve biodiversity protection laws has been taken up by the Barnett Government.

At the opening of Parliament on 11 April, His Excellency the Governor, Malcolm McCusker, announced that the Government will introduce a new Biodiversity Conservation Act to replace the existing 63 year old conservation legislation. The Greens, who tried to put draft laws to Parliament twice before, are determined to scrutinise the Government’s alternative to see if it stands the test of protecting key urban bushland habitats.

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren said today, “We want the Premier to act with some urgency, to reverse the decline in biodiversity, bringing threatened species back from the brink.”

Premier Barnett is yet to detail how he intends improve the 60 year old Wildlife Conservation Act.

“If we had decent laws protecting our endangered species, the Government wouldn’t waste money on destructive proposals like the Roe Highway stage 8 extension, which impacts on the endangered Carnaby’s cockatoo habitat as identified in the Public Environmental Review," said Ms MacLaren.

“Although some of the world’s most distinctive biodiversity is found in Australia, the most exceptional is in Western Australia. Yet Western Australia’s biodiversity is experiencing unprecedented pressure because of the cumulative impacts of land use conversion, fragmentation of ecosystems, high population growth, high personal consumption levels, and changing climatic conditions.

“We need to see if the Government is serious about honouring a commitment to protecting threatened species,” said Ms MacLaren.