By Terri Butler MP

21 May 2021

The Morrison Government’s belatedly-released threatened species strategy is inadequate.

Australia’s environment is in crisis. But the Liberals and Nationals don’t have a plan to fix it.
Instead we have seen cuts, delays, waste, and a woeful record on environmental protection, from this tired, eight-year old government.
The Liberals and Nationals have cut the environment department by 40 per cent. Nature is paying the price, and so are Australians whose jobs depend on projects getting approved properly and on time.
Now, the Morrison Government has finally released a threatened species strategy. They had previously claimed it would be released in March.
But it will not be enough to address the Government’s massive biodiversity failures, like the fact that fewer than 40 per cent of threatened species have a recovery plan or the recent revelation that out of 171 outstanding recovery plans, 170 were overdue.
There’s still no national koala conservation strategy, even though the last one expired in 2014, and there is still no recovery plan for the koala. 
The funding re-announced alongside the strategy largely goes to fisheries and marine species and invasive pests. All worthwhile, but these measures won’t turn around this Government’s disgraceful lack of progress on recovery plans for threatened species.
There’s also a funding allocation for grants. After the way that previous environmental grants programs like the Communities Environment Program and the Environment Restoration Fund were rorted, we are sceptical that this money will be administered fairly or well.
Australia leads the world in mammal extinctions, but this late, inadequate ‘strategy’ shows once again that the Morrison Government has no plan to fix the extinction crisis.
Australian icons like the platypus and the koala are under immense pressure.
Unless we act now as a nation, our iconic native species will disappear.
As always, Scott Morrison is all about the photo op and never about the follow up. They’re all promise, no delivery. Their failure to deliver hurts our natural environment.
The Morrison Government needs to stop with the spin and get on with the job.

FRIDAY, 21 MAY 2021