Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens’ Leader and Primary Industries spokesperson
Primary Industries Minister, Sarah Courtney, has revealed the Liberals’ plans to extend licences to shoot native wildlife, including wombats suffering from the deadly sarcoptic mange.
In Parliament today, the Minister announced that Crop Protection Permits to shoot wombats, which are currently granted annually, will be extended to five year permits.
Ms Courtney also confirmed the government continues to issue permits to farmers to shoot the much loved wombats, a species which is facing localised extinction at places like Narwantapu National Park as a result of the devastating mange.
Ms Courtney is on one hand, providing modest public funding to help research and tackle the spread of sarcoptic mange, while on the other, she’s authorising the killing of healthy wombats. The hypocrisy from Ms Courtney is astounding.
There are fundraisers being run around the State, and concerned community groups and wildlife carers treating sick and dying wombats right now – all while Minister Courtney signs their death warrants.
When pressed in Parliament, Minister Courtney refused to admit the current number of Crop Protection Permits that included healthy wombats, instead relying on a general annual figure from before 2016.
Tasmanians know all too well the Liberals’ cosy relationship with the shooting lobby. They know that shortly after coming to government the Liberals reversed the ban on 1080 poison despite its demonstrable cruelty and impact on native and domestic animals. They also know there are humane alternatives to killing wombats for farmers.
Our beautiful Tasmanian wombats are facing localised extinction, and are dying of starvation and in pain. They need all the help they can get, and Ms Courtney playing blind to the harrowing plight of this much loved species is heartless in the extreme.