Wednesday, 22 March 2017
Questions without Notice
I thank the member for Denison for his question. I can tell the members of this House and the member for Denison that the Turnbull government is doing more to protect the threatened species of our country than any prior government. We appointed the first-ever Threatened Species Commissioner, Mr Gregory Andrews, who has been able to galvanise more than $210 million, including $150 million to prevent habitat destruction. We have launched the first-ever Threatened Species Strategy. We have launched the first-ever Threatened Species Recovery Fund. Just last month, I was at Taronga Zoo to launch the first-ever Threatened Species Prospectus, which is protecting our quolls, our bilbies and our helmeted honeyeaters.
You asked me about the swift parrots. We are concerned about them because they were recently uplisted to the critically endangered list. We are investing $8 million across Tasmania, New South Wales and Victoria to prevent habitat destruction. This includes the construction of hundreds of nest boxes which will protect them against predatory players like the sugar glider.
We are also concerned about the freshwater crayfish and freshwater lobsters. We have put in place our own national recovery plan. We have worked to prevent habitat destruction, including investing $350,000 to prevent invasive weed species. We are also doing a number of other things. We understand that, when it comes to forests, the Regional Forest Agreements have been in place for some two decades, and they work well. We need a balance—ensuring sufficient supply of resources while also ensuring that we protect our environment, our endangered species. So we will continue to work with the Tasmanian government and protect our endangered species through the various measures that we have.