Plibersek’s cockatoo contradiction

Media Enquiries

In a day of remarkable contrast, the Minister for the Environment, Tanya Plibersek, placed an eastern Australian black cockatoo on the endangered list just as she was getting Federal Court backing for her decision to bulldoze the habitat of three rare black cockatoos in Western Australia.

Inexplicably, within the hour of winning Federal Court backing for her approval of the demolition of WA’s Gelorup woodland, which is critical habitat for three western species of black cockatoos, to facilitate the Bunbury bypass south of Perth, Minister Plibersek announced she would list the south-eastern glossy black cockatoo, on the other side of the continent, as ‘vulnerable’ to extinction. The minister also listed the mountain skink of south-eastern Australia as ‘endangered’.

Ms Plibersek said the new listings “will ensure the prioritisation of recovery actions to protect both species and offer conservation guidance on a national scale”.

“Ms Plibersek’s first piece of conservation guidance was to give the go-ahead to the bulldozers now smashing down the Gelorup woodlands in WA which, besides the three black cockatoos, contain critically endangered western ringtail possums and an internationally listed rare native fish. There were options for the bypass but none for this woodland and its wildlife. The Minister for the Environment is accelerating the progress to extinction of these species,” Bob Brown said. “Her actions have contradicted her words.”

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