Most Australians support a ban on logging on Bruny Island
Media Release 10 Nov 2015
Bob Brown Foundation has called for an end to logging of all Swift Parrot breeding habitat and for these forests to be placed in National Park reserves.
"Bruny Island is the Swift Parrots’ last safe substantial nesting place. We have released a national poll which found the majority of Australians support banning logging on Bruny Island," Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.
"Swift Parrots cannot sustain any further habitat loss. Forestry Tasmania are scheduled to recommence logging on Bruny Island in February 2016 and it should be ruled out," Jenny Weber said.
Calling on the Federal Government to take action, Bob Brown said, "The Federal Government ultimately has responsibility for critically endangered species. I call on Prime Minister Turnbull to halt the logging planned by Forestry Tasmania on Bruny Island."
"Last week the Swift Parrot was listed as critically endangered by International Union for Conservation of Nature, which made recommendations that all places on public land that support Swift Parrots should be placed in secure protection. Important breeding habitat, ranging from the east coast to Wielangta and Bruny Island and down to the southern forests, needs to be put into secure reserves to remove the threat of extinction for the Swift Parrot," Jenny Weber said.
Contact Jenny Weber 0427 366 929
Options to improve the protection of critically endangered species under national environmental laws.
This report (commissioned by the Bob Brown Foundation and prepared by EDO Tasmania) examines some of the weaknesses in the current operation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and identifies 5 key areas in which the laws should be strengthened to better protect those species and communities at greatest risk of being lost.
The summary of the recommendations in the report are reproduced here, and the full (PDF) report is linked at the bottom of this page.
Summary of recommendations
Critically endangered species and ecological communities should be afforded strong protection under Australia’s national environmental laws. Currently, inclusion of a threatened species or ecological community in the category representing the highest level of endangerment under federal laws does little to increase the protection provided.
There are 5 key areas in which our national environmental law, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, can be strengthened to provide more effective protection to critically endangered species and ecological communities.
The key findings of this report are outlined below:
1. Streamlining assessment decisions
- A species listed on the IUCN Red List in the category of Critically Endangered must be automatically upgraded to that status under the EPBC Act.
- The Minister should have clear emergency listing powers in relation to species and communities considered to be critically endangered.
- The Minister must act on the advice from the Threatened Species Scientific Committee to list a species or community as Critically Endangered.
- Commonwealth, State and Territory threatened species assessment criteria must be synchronised to allow for reciprocal recognition of assessments.
2. Strengthening recovery actions
- Within 6 months of a species or ecological community being listed as critically endangered, a recovery plan must be adopted for the species or community (or revised, if one already exists). Some exceptions may apply where the Threatened Species Scientific Committee advises that a plan is not required.
- Recovery plans for critically endangered species must identify critical habitat for the species. All critical habitat identified in such recovery plans must be entered on the Critical Habitat Register.
- Recovery plans must include clear performance indicators, and the Department of Environment must report against these indicators in its annual report.
- The Commonwealth must be required to “use its best endeavours” to get a State or Territory government to implement recovery plans and threat abatement plans within its territory.
- Commonwealth funding for environmental and scientific research programmes should give priority to proposals that will further the survival of a critically endangered species or ecological community.
3. Avoiding impacts
- The Significant Impact Guidelines should provide that any adverse impact on a critically endangered species or ecological community, including any adverse impact on listed critical habitat, will be “significant”.
- The Minister must seek, and act consistently with, the advice of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee in relation to any proposed actions which may adversely impact on a critically endangered species or ecological community.
- The Minister must be able to vary or revoke an approval where a threatened species or ecological community impacted by the approved activity is ‘uplisted’ to Critically Endangered.
- The obligation to avoid damage to registered critical habitat on Commonwealth land should extend to critical habitat on land owned or managed by a State or Territory government.
4. No delegation of responsibility
- Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) forestry operations should not be excluded from the requirement to obtain approval from the Commonwealth Minister.
- If the RFA exemption is retained, it should not apply to forestry operations in an area of registered Critical Habitat.
- The Minister must not be able to delegate approval powers to a State or Territory government for actions which will have, or are likely to have, a significant impact on a critically endangered species or ecological community. All actions likely to impact on critically endangered species or ecological communities must be assessed by the Commonwealth Minister.
5. Encouraging strong action by State and Territory governments
- The Commonwealth should exercise powers under the current Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement to require the Tasmanian government to implement restrictions on broadscale clearing on private land.
- The Commonwealth should promote the implementation of best practice laws for the protection of threatened species by States and Territories, including through planning and building laws.
- The Commonwealth should consider entering into conservation agreements under the EPBC Act with State and Territory Governments to secure protection for critically endangered species and ecological communities.
abc.net.au - Convenor of Birdlife Tasmania Dr Eric Woehler does not believe the species can be managed without a logging ban on the endangered bird's habitat.
Dr Woehler said a logging moratorium would be a good first step.
"Destroying habitat for swift parrots on an island that doesn't have its predators is just another nail in the coffin."
The Guardian's "First Dog on the Moon" has honoured the Swift Parrot's plight with a cartoon: "First Dog on the Moon Institute National Scientific Survey of Animals Interesting Enough To Appear In A Cartoon Part 246 The Swift Parrot"
"FSC accreditation is pretty easy to get you just have to NOT KILL EVERYTHING IN SIGHT!"
Conservationists call for immediate protection of Swift Parrot habitat as species listed as critically endangered
Bob Brown Foundation has urged immediate action by Tasmania’s Premier and Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt to protect Swift Parrot habitat and cease current and proposed logging immediately.
Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager Jenny Weber has called for immediate action to prevent extinction of a species rapidly losing habitat to ongoing logging. ‘Tasmania’s Premier Hodgman and Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt can avoid ongoing international shame of driving a unique species to extinction and take urgent action to protect the Swift Parrot. It’s time for the politicians to act now and end all logging of the critically endangered species habitat,’ Jenny Weber said.
‘On Bruny Island and in the southern forests of Tasmania, habitat that is critical to the Swift Parrot is being logged. On Bruny Island alone, in the next three years, 500 hectares are scheduled by Forestry Tasmania for logging while the island is one of the last critical refuges for the Swift Parrot,’ Jenny Weber said.
IUCN has announced, worldwide, 40 more bird species are now classified as having a higher risk of extinction in the 2015 Red List, including the Swift Parrot. The Swift Parrot is just one of seven species that have seen their status upgraded to Critically Endangered. The IUCN Red List is the world’s most comprehensive information source on the conservation status of plant and animal species.
‘The logging of Swift Parrot habitat on Bruny Island and in Tasmania’s southern forests are driven by Ta Ann, the largest logging company in Tasmania. One of Sarawak’s worst six logging companies, Ta Ann is still selling this conflict wood to Japan. It is long overdue that Ta Ann’s logging practices in Tasmania need to cease sourcing timber from high conservation value native forests. The home of the Swift Parrot is being lost for this controversial company, Ta Ann and needs to cease,’ Jenny Weber said.
‘The fastest parrot on earth requires the fastest action to protect it from extinction. Action can be taken to remove the greatest threat, stop logging its habitat,’ Jenny Weber said.
0427 366 929