By Terri Butler MP

25 May 2021

No threats have been listed as Key Threatening Processes under federal environment laws in the current parliament, even though the 2019-20 national bushfire crisis killed or displaced more than 3 billion animals.

This lack of progress was revealed in Senate Estimates on Monday. 

Despite the development of threat abatement plans being a key function of the Government under federal environmental laws, department officials were unable to say how many plans required reviewing. 

That’s despite findings in the Government’s own review of the environment laws, that “[c]urrently, 21 threats are listed as key threatening processes and only 6 have an up-to-date abatement plan” (Samuel Review, p.17). Samuel also reported that “[m]ost mandated 5-yearly reviews of threat abatement plans are either well behind schedule or haven’t occurred” (Samuel Review, p.176). 

Without a Threat Abatement Plan, there is no statutory obligation to manage threats to the environment (Samuel Review, p.128).

The Prime Minister is happy to appear in a photo-op with our iconic species, but won’t deliver on their protection.  

Biodiversity funding has fallen by 28% since the Coalition came into power, the environment department has been cut by 40% and Australia is leading the world on mammal extinctions. 

It’s been eight long years and the Morrison Government can’t even get the basics of biodiversity protection right. 

Previous Estimates hearings have exposed the unacceptable delays in recovery plans for threatened species. 

We heard on Monday there are still 167 out of 168 recovery plans overdue, there is still no conservation strategy for the koala, which expired in 2014, and only two Key Threatening Processes have been listed since 2013.  

TUESDAY, 25 MAY 2021