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Jaensch Must Stop Westbury Drilling, Risk to Threatened Eagles

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Friday, 9 October 2020

Tags: Threatened Species, Environment, Westbury, Northern Prison, Wedge-Tailed Eagle

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson

The exploratory drilling set to commence next week at the Westbury Reserve is within range of a Wedge-tailed eagle nest, during breeding season. It is unacceptable that government-sanctioned works are adding to the many other risks faced by endangered Wedge-tailed eagles. 

Environment Minister, Roger Jaensch must step in and stop this drilling going ahead next week. 

The Gutwein Government are once again ignoring their own departmental advice, which warns against disturbing a nesting eagle during the breeding season.

The government’s Threatened Species website* cautions people against visible or audible disturbance to a nesting eagle because it risks them abandoning their eggs or chicks. It says:

What to avoid:

•    Disturbance (visible, or extreme audible) to a nesting eagle - this can result in the death of eggs or chicks, through exposure to cold, heat or predation while adults are absent - including:
    - people or loud machinery too near the nest during the breeding season ('too near' can be many hundreds of metres if in direct line of sight of the nest);
    - residential development near nesting habitat; and
    - investigating nests during the breeding season.”

The eagle nest is within range of the Westbury Reserve and is actively used. There is no way to justify going ahead with this drilling during the Wedge-tailed eagle breeding season. 

There are fewer than 1000 eagles in Tasmania, and to prevent them heading to extinction the government has to take a precautionary approach. This magnificent bird needs every chance it can get to breed successfully. 

The Liberals are pushing ahead with their rushed plans for a northern prison at Westbury Reserve against community outcry, and all warnings of impacts on natural values and threatened species. 

Minister Jaensch must step in. He needs to take responsibility and put a stop to the planned government-sanctioned drilling on Westbury Reserve next week.