A Parliamentary inquiry into Victoria’s threatened species has found that the state government has been chronically underfunding the environment and biodiversity by billions of dollars, leaving thousands of species at risk of extinction.
The inquiry – which was established by the Victorian Greens – handed down its damning final report today.
The report found that one of the main contributors to species decline was a lack of government funding for things like saving threatened species, protecting our national parks, and managing invasive species.
In response, the Greens are calling on state government to inject a major funding boost for the environment in next’s year Budget, including:
- A one-off injection of $50 million for the Trust for Nature revolving fund, for nature restoration on private land.
- $200 million for a dedicated Threatened Species Fund within DEWLP. In its submission to the inquiry DEWLP revealed that while there are now 2,000 species listed as threatened in Victoria, it will take five years to develop action statements for them, and with no funding guarantee to implement them. This means it’s possible the Government will take no action at all for many species identified as being at risk of extinction.
Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam, said the inquiry had been one of the biggest investigations of its kind in Victoria’s history.
She said despite years of government inaction and neglect, it was clear that both the community and experts wanted much more done to protect our precious animals, especially after the 2020 bushfires.
Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens and Environment Spokesperson, Ellen Sandell, said with over 2,000 species on Victoria’s threatened list, the government could no longer ignore its role in their ongoing decline.
She said without a major funding boost in next year’s state Budget to begin to make up the billions in shortfall, Victoria would inevitably see more and more species at risk of extinction.
As stated by Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam MLC:
“With over 400 pages and dozens of findings and recommendations, our inquiry into Victoria’s extinction crisis has been one of the largest in Parliament’s history, and it’s not hard to see why.
“Victorians across the state care deeply about our precious wildlife, and saw how the 2020 bushfires swept through and destroyed so much of their habitats.
“During the inquiry we heard from experts and community members who wanted to see real and urgent action to protect our threatened species and save others at risk of becoming threatened. It’s time for this government to listen.”
As stated by Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell MP:
“It’s outrageous that this state government is happy to throw billions towards polluting mega toll roads or prisons, but only pennies towards our environment and wildlife.
“With this report the writing is on the wall and the government can no longer ignore its role in ecosystem decline. We want to see a massive funding boost in next year’s state Budget to protect the now 2,000 species that are at risk of extinction in our state.”