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The Liberals Swift Parrot Extinction Plan

Vica Bayley MP

Vica Bayley MP  -  Tuesday, 12 September 2023

Tags: Swift Parrot, Native Forest Logging, Extinction

In an extraordinary abrogation of his duty, Minister for the Environment, Roger Jaensch dodged a question in parliament on his responsibility for acting as directed under the new Swift Parrot Recovery Plan. Instead, he placed the survival of the critically endangered parrot in the hands of private landowners, including Bruny Island locals.
The Recovery Plan identifies native forest logging of feeding and breeding habitat as the key threat to the swift parrot’s extinction. In response to Greens’ questioning, Minister Jaensch failed to acknowledge the commitment he signed up to, which includes an action to protect critical habitat through establishing new national parks or conservation reserves.
Swift Parrots are migratory and need to forage and nest in different places year to year, depending on where specific eucalypts are flowering. Minister Jaensch’s recovery plan, agreed with his federal counterpart, identifies logging of those eucalypts “continues to reduce the amount of available swift parrot nesting and foraging habitat” (pg 19).
Parrots don’t recognize borders between private and public land, nor do they wish to have a future being reared in cages as part of an emergency captive breeding program.
Instead of fulfilling his responsibility and identifying critical native forest parrot habitat on public land and protecting it, the Minister is relying on locals living on an island in the south of the state to save this species. This is a truly bizarre and failed plan.
The Minister does, however, accept the swift parrot is heading towards extinction and points to a captive breeding program to ensure their survival. This is an horrific admission that loss-making native forest logging is more important to the environment minister than ensuring the survival in the wild of one of Tasmania’s iconic species.
The Minister should focus on his job, to protect the fastest parrot in the world from extinction, and honour the obligations he signed up to in the Recovery Plan.