Two days after the announcement of the Morrison Government’s $50 million Wildlife and Habitat Recovery Package, leading wildlife experts and environment groups will meet at Parliament House Canberra today to help steer the recovery process.
Threatened Species Commissioner, Dr Sally Box, will chair an Expert Panel of ecologists, conservation biologists and other scientists, along with environment experts from states and territories to:
- Advise the Minister for the Environment on further critical interventions required to support the immediate survival of affected animals, plants and ecological communities and to control pests and weeds.
- Assess and map the scale of the impacts of the bushfires on our environment and prioritise recovery efforts, which will inform development of a strategy for building populations of native plants and animals back up again and ensuring their resilience into the future.
Following the Expert Panel meeting, I will chair a Ministerial roundtable with leading environmental and wildlife organisations, and zoos, the first of a series of round tables I will hold focussing on the bushfire response.
The Expert Panel will include: Dr Sally Box (Threatened Species Commissioner), Professor John Woinarski (Charles Darwin University), Professor Sarah Legge (Australian National University), Dr Stephen van Leeuwen (Indigenous Advisory Committee), Dr Libby Rumpff (University of Melbourne), Associate Professor Dale Nimmo (Charles Sturt University), Dr Jenny Gray (Zoos Victoria), Dr Dan Metcalfe (CSIRO). Additional members will be appointed as required.
The impacts of these fires on our native species is heartbreaking but there is already a real sense of hope about what we can achieve by working together.