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Liberals Pulling a Swiftie on Threatened Species

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Friday, 14 August 2020

Tags: Threatened Species, Swift Parrot, Forests, Biodiversity, Masked Owl, Tasmanian Devil

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson

The swift parrot is no better protected today than it was yesterday under the Liberals in Government. The same destructive logging practices that have seen this critically endangered gem of a bird become more threatened are continuing in Tasmania. 

Minister Jaensch and Barnett’s spinners went into overdrive on a Friday afternoon, with the announcement they will exclude some swift parrot habitat from logging. Yet no real information was provided by the government, and the only named area mentioned by the Ministers is already under a logging moratorium. 

In Budget Estimates last year, we asked the Government to release the maps that designate which forests were to be excluded from harvesting under the proposed Public Authority Management Agreement. The Liberals refused to provide the maps then, and today are still hiding the location of the 10,000 hectares they are claiming will be excluded from logging.  

All that was made publicly available today was greenwash and spin. 

The swift parrot doesn’t return to the same forest areas each year, and flies to different feeding and breeding habitat depending on annual conditions. The proposal to exclude only 10,000 hectares of habitat in the southern forests, far less then half the estimated habitat across the south-east, does not do what’s needed to protect this critically endangered bird. 

Like the proposal for the Great Koala National Park on the mainland, Tasmania should be protecting the entire south and eastern forest estate for the swift parrot. 

The masked owl appears to have dropped off the Liberals’ radar. It is cynical of the government to just hone in on the swift parrot, when Tasmania’s forests are home a multitude of species - many of which are threatened and endangered. 

STT and the Liberals are asking Tasmanians to trust them, when all they’ve done is put the swift parrot, masked owl and Tasmanian devil at greater risk of extinction. Choosing to exclude a small proportion of the forests that are essential habitat for these animals means they’re doubling down on logging the rest of it.

In the midst of a global biodiversity crisis, we must conserve all the habitat threatened animals need to continue to survive.