In response to the release of the Victorian State of the Environment Report today, CEO of Environment Victoria Jono La Nauze said:
“Victorians love our beautiful natural environment and the many unique plants and animals that call this state home. But this latest comprehensive assessment tells a tragic story of a warming climate, deteriorating landscapes and threatened species at risk of disappearing forever.
“It’s a damning indictment of progress towards Victoria’s Biodiversity 2037 strategy, which promised no backsliding for threatened species, and an overall improvement in the extent and condition of habitats across land, water and marine environments.
“The sad reality is those targets are not being met to control weeds or pests, increase protected areas, conserve native vegetation on private land, manage invasive species or reduce the risk to threatened plants and animals. In other cases there’s inadequate data to even assess how the condition of the environment is tracking.
“The Victorian State of the Environment Report also gives a frightening picture of rivers and wetlands. Fewer than a quarter (22%) of indicators for inland waterways were assessed as having a good status. Water quality and the availability of natural flows are suffering. For the majority of these indicators, things aren’t getting better.
“It’s striking that this Report has been tabled while the Federal Government has just negotiated a new agreement to return water to rivers in the Murray-Darling Basin. It passed with cross-partisan support and the backing of every Basin state and territory government – except Victoria. The fact that the Victorian Government remains opposed to restoring our rivers will disappoint millions of Victorians.
“It is fortunate to see some recognition of the good work of the Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH) and the agencies that help deliver water to the environment. Water for the environment is having an impact — it’s throwing a lifeline to desperate wetlands.
“Victoria severely lacks the funding to adequately protect species and isn’t taking full advantage of existing laws to prevent a worsening crisis. After a parliamentary Inquiry into Ecosystem Decline in 2021, environment groups called for a package of funding for biodiversity in Victoria of at least $500 million, which hasn’t been delivered.
“The government has not even managed to respond to the inquiry report two years after it was released.”
James Norman, Media and Content Manager