Environment Victoria has welcomed today’s motion by the Victorian Greens, the Animal Justice Party, Sustainable Australia, and the Reason Party to establish a parliamentary inquiry into extinction and biodiversity in Victoria.
With Australia already second in the world for extinction, Environment Victoria says the motion provides a much-needed opportunity for the Andrews Government to take action to address Victoria’s looming extinction crisis.
“This inquiry will be an important first step in addressing the extinction crisis here in Victoria,” said Jono La Nauze, CEO of Environment Victoria.
“Without action this will only get worse, because the pressures driving extinction are not being brought under control.
“Victoria has over 700 species and ecological communities listed as threatened, the highest in the country. These species are on the highway to extinction and we must change course.
“The biggest driver of extinction is habitat destruction – clearing land for urban expansion and agriculture, logging forests and denying rivers and wetlands clean water, all of which are being exacerbated by climate change.
“Victoria is the most cleared state in Australia, and native vegetation continues to be lost at approximately 4,000 habitat hectares per year,” said Mr La Nauze.
Victoria’s recent State of the Environment Report assessed 35 indicators on the health of Victoria’s biodiversity. Of these, none were in good health and 60% were in poor health. Most alarmingly, 51% were determined to be ‘deteriorating.’
“Not only is Victoria’s biodiversity in a poor state, it’s getting worse,” continued Mr La Nauze.
“Keeping nature healthy is essential if we want Victoria to prosper. Nature supports industries from farming to tourism, as well as essentials such as drinking water and local parklands. This is an issue that affects every one of us.
“This inquiry into extinction and biodiversity in our state would best inform how our government can successfully protect Victoria’s unique natural environment, including our iconic forests, wetlands and coastal areas.
“It is crucial we assess the situation in Victoria and act as soon as possible to put effective programs in place that protect and restore our ecosystems.
“We call on all members of our state parliament to support this motion, and ensure Victoria takes the critical first step toward winning the fight against the extinction crisis,” said Mr La Nauze.
Jono La Nauze, Environment Victoria CEO
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