Today I am taking decisive and informed action in relation to our country’s threatened plants and animals.
While there are a range of views, I have listened carefully to advice from Australia’s Threatened Species Scientific Committee and those who make their living from the land, and decided that the status of Victoria’s faunal emblem, the Leadbeater’s possum, should remain as critically endangered.
This ensures the Leadbeater’s possum remains a priority species for all levels of government.
While listing anything as critically endangered is not good news, I believe this decision will ensure this iconic mammal gets the attention it deserves.
I’m encouraged by the forestry industry’s willingness to engage in the possum’s survival – indeed they have invested heavily research of the possum to ensure they abide by the terms of their Regional Forestry Agreement.
It is this agreement that places a 200-metre barrier around all nesting trees, those with hollows, to protect the populations we know about, and provide much needed data on those that don’t.
Effective conservation relies on scientific data. The possum is just one of nine species I’ve considered following advice from the Threatened Species Scientific Committee – Australia’s independent expert advisory group on these matters.
Following this advice I have also made the following decisions in relation to eight more species.
I have included six Queensland frog species in the threatened species list, five in the Critically Endangered category:
Elegant frog (Cophixalus concinnus),
Rattling Nursery Frog (Cophixalus hosmeri),
Mount Elliot Nursery Frog (Cophixalus mcdonaldi),
Mountain-top Nursery Frog (Cophixalus monticola) and the
Bellenden Ker Nursery Frog (Cophixalus neglectus),
and one in the Endangered category:
Tapping Nursery-frog (Cophixalus aenigma).
These listing decisions were based on an expert review of the conservation status of Australia’s frogs, drawing on the best available scientific information.
I have included the White-throated Needletail (Hirundapus caudacutus) in the Vulnerable category of the list. (Bird species)
I have also removed the Salt Myoporum (Myoporum turbinatum) from the list, because it has been found to be more abundant than previously thought and is no longer eligible to be listed as threatened. (Plant species)
I have always been a strong advocate of community-led, practical action when it comes to managing our land.
This is why we’ve already committed more than $170 million through Landcare to help communities manage their land, to benefit our native plants and animals, which in turn benefit the health and well-being of all Australians.
Since 2014, the Australian Government has mobilised more than $425 million for projects supporting outcomes for threatened species.
The Australian Government’s support for threatened species includes projects delivered under a range of programs including the National Landcare Program, 20 Million Trees, Threatened Species Recovery Fund, Green Army, and the National Environmental Science Program.