Wednesday, 9 December 2020
Questions without Notice
I thank the member for North Sydney for his question and commend him for his interest in the environment of Sydney and the greater metropolitan area. Australia is home to more species than any other developed country, and our wildlife is found nowhere else in the world. Of the more than 1,900 listed threatened species, 99.9 per cent have a recovery plan or conservation advice in place.
Since coming to government, we've invested more than $505 million towards supporting outcomes for threatened species and ecological communities. This includes our Regional Land Partnerships program, the Environment Restoration Fund, the Communities Environment Program and the wildlife and habitat bushfire recovery fund. Our $200 million investment post bushfires is already delivering practical actions to help our threatened species and help our habitat recover. One example of how that money is delivering real outcomes is that more than one million hectares of pest animal control has occurred. That's an area more than four times the size of the ACT. This is giving species like the brush-tailed rock wallaby and the critically endangered northern corroboree frog the best chance of recovery. There was good news yesterday from Kangaroo Island. The first little pygmy possum survivor was found in remnant bushland. I want to thank Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife and all our wonderful conservation volunteers that we've been able to support through bushfire recovery funding. As the House knows, I recently announced a very popular koala package focusing on habitat restoration and the very well-received—
Dr Freelander interjecting—
first ever national koala census. Our National Environmental Science Program has a major focus on applied science, turning that academic work into real-world activities on the ground that make a difference. We're supporting the black cockatoo in Western Australia, the dunnart on Kangaroo Island, the eastern quoll on Bruny Island and many more through our safe havens network, building feral predator-free areas where we can introduce our threatened species and watch them thrive. Those safe haven projects are on Flinders Island and French Island in Victoria, and we're looking to add more through a competitive grants round that's currently open for application. Our approach, the Morrison government's approach, is that we listen to the experts, we take positive and proactive action on the ground, we make a difference, with our conservation volunteers and with the work that we do in our unique and iconic landscapes across Australia.