Tasmania’s world-first price on extinction

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Tasmania has put a world-first price of $7.4 million on the extinction of a species, Bob Brown Foundation says.

“Yesterday’s decision to proceed with a wind farm with skyscraper-height ailerons on Tasmania’s Robbins Island includes a monetary ‘offset’ or ‘financial contribution’ of $100,000 for each Orange-bellied Parrot (OBP) the development kills. There are an estimated 74 OBPs left in the wild, so the price of wiping out the species is $7.4million,” former senator Bob Brown said today.

“It’s not saying the wind farm will kill all the Orange-bellied Parrots but it does put a dollar tag on the cost to the developer, ACEN, if it did.”

“That $7.4 m extinction fee should not be much of a bother for the Philippines’ Ayala family corporation which owns ACEN, as Forbes lists the family’s worth at $2.8 billion. The OBP species is worth about one-tenth of one per cent of the Ayala family in this capitalised new world,” Brown said.

The giant wind farm will sit astride the OBP’s migratory path between Tasmania and mainland Australia. Bob Brown Foundation has not opposed other wind farms in Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Civil and Administration Tribunal panel, Grueber, Loveday and Kitchell, also priced the death of each giant Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle killed by the wind farm at $100,000. The eagles are threatened with extinction, exacerbated by the logging of forests for export woodchips.

“In an era of the Albanese government working on legislation to monetise the environment, this pricing of nature indicates that everything can become tradeable and that unavoidably includes the human spirit and love of nature being discounted to zero. This is a breakthrough in the gutting of humanity’s historic relationship with our natural planet,” Brown said.

“Everything, including our valuing of fellow species, forests, oceans and icecaps is to be monetised. This was echoed in the argument, last weekend when more than 100 people were arrested for allegedly halting coal ships, for keeping Newcastle as the world’s largest coal export port. The Albanese government justifies it as bringing in $40 billion a year while discounting to zero its role in the future damage to the planet of a 3-degree temperature rise and a 3 metre sea level rise. This discounts the right of our children to a secure natural world to zero as well.”

“Yesterday’s decision in Tasmania, with its ringing endorsement from both the Liberal and Labor parties, will go down in the pages of the history of the deliberate dismantling of Earth’s biosphere on the altar of capitalism,” Brown said.

(The tribunal’s finding number 218 reads: “We also consider that an additional offset should be included as a contribution that mirrors the proposed condition for eagles, which is a $100,000.00 financial contribution for each detected eagle mortality. OBP mortalities are at least as significant as eagle mortalities and a similar condition should be provided for them.”)

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