Chair of the Senate’s Environment Committee Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has announced today she will move for the Faunal Extinction Inquiry to examine the impact of the catastrophic fires across the country on endangered wildlife and flora.
Senator Hanson-Young said the already-established Inquiry gave the Parliament an opportunity to immediately get on with what needs to be done to protect our native fauna and flora in the wake of the fires.
“Before the fires started, Australia already had one of the worst extinction rates in the world. Now more than a billion animals have been killed by fires across the country and thousands of hectares of habitat destroyed and we are only half way through summer – we don’t have time to waste,” Senator Hanson-Young said.
“The Faunal Extinction Inquiry can hit the ground running. The Committee can get out into the fire-ravaged areas so senators can see the extent of the devastation first hand, and bring together stakeholders and experts so recommendations can be made to the Parliament about what needs to be done to prevent further species’ extinction.
“Species like the Kangaroo Island dunnart and black glossy cockatoo, koalas, and even mainland quokkas in WA, have been killed, injured and suffered huge losses to their critical habitat.
“The Senate needs to do what it can to aid fire recovery and ensure adequate funding and plans are in place to protect our native species and the environment they live in.
“We cannot rely on the government to get this right, they haven’t committed anywhere near enough money for fire recovery. It’s going to take a lot more than petty cash from the government to really tackle this environmental crisis.”