Labor’s Tanya fails on extinction day

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“Einstein said that you can’t fix a problem with the mindset that caused it. But Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek, is out to prove him wrong,” Bob Brown said in Hobart today.

Plibersek refuses to act on the direct cause of extinctions in the wild which is the destruction of habitat. Instead of the species, she is protecting environmentally destructive industries like native forest logging and feedlot aquaculture and using taxpayers’ money to breed up the rare species in birdcages and fish tanks.

This is the minister using capitalism as a remedy for the injury it is causing.

The answer in the cases of the Swift Parrot and Maugean Skate is simple – protect their ancient habitats and remove the invaders from those habitats. That is, use ecology to fix these ecological problems rather than the economics which have caused them.

Meanwhile, in Tasmania, where the migratory Swift Parrot has returned from the mainland after winter to nest and breed, logging is underway in its ancient breeding forests.

“It’s a catastrophe in Tasmania’s native forests for Swift Parrots. Just this last fortnight, logging has resumed in parrot habitat in the south,” Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.

“Ending the logging immediately is the critical step to avoiding extinction for the fastest parrots on Earth,” Jenny Weber said.

“Prime Minister Albanese and his Environment Minister Plibersek have the power to address Swift Parrot decline without wasting time with measures that won’t meet the requirements of parrot recovery while its breeding habitat is being destroyed by logging,” Jenny Weber said.

Today’s announcement by Minister Plibersek that there will be an “improving and increasing of habitat for the Swift Parrot” is meaningless.

Swift Parrot expert Dr Matt Webb says, “The single biggest threat to the survival of the Swift Parrot is habitat loss in the breeding range. The most important action we can take is the cessation of habitat loss in the breeding range. Addressing other threats is meaningless without this action. There is no uncertainty around priority habitat which requires immediate protection.”

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