Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson
Nature lovers across lutruwita/Tasmania are celebrating World Wetlands Day today. Our island state is home to many internationally recognised wetlands, with 10 of the 57 Ramsar sites on the planet right here in Tasmania.
While Environment Minister Roger Jaensch patted himself on the back for the government’s investment in the Tamar Island Wetlands Centre, his refusal to protect native birds in other areas is a stark contrast.
The Boullanger Bay-Robbins Island wetlands is an international bird mecca, and the most important site for shorebirds in the state. It has the largest undeveloped tidal mud flats and sand banks in Tasmania. All that is threatened by the massive, inappropriately placed wind farm proposal being championed by the State Liberal Government.
Tiny endangered shorebirds migrate across the planet from the Arctic and elsewhere to nest at Boullanger Bay and the Robbins Island Passage. We need more renewable energy, but not at the expense of this biodiversity haven that’s one of the worst locations in Tasmania for wind turbines.
A 2002 conservation assessment by DPIPWE found this area met all the Ramsar wetlands conservation criteria. Despite that, the government is ignoring the significant conservation values of the area and is stalling on the renewed push for its formal listing.
One of the ten Ramsar areas in Tasmania already listed is magnificent Moulting Lagoon on the east coast. Next month, this serene wetland will be ringing with the sound of shotguns under Minister Jaensch as the duck shooting season opens.
The Rockliff Liberals are refusing to end the barbaric annual slaughter of Tasmania’s native ducks. This is revolting and inexcusable given the many other threats to declining migratory bird populations.
This is what World Wetlands Day looks like under a Tasmanian Liberal Government. In a global biodiversity crisis, this beautiful island deserves much, much better.