Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson
The news of a Tasmanian government-sanctioned shooting of more than 200 protected swans and their baby cygnets at a trout fishing estate in the Central Highlands is beyond belief. With more shootings planned by a nearby property-owner to protect their commercial interests, the Minister for Primary Industries Jo Palmer needs to immediately intervene and stop this gross destruction of protected native wildlife.
There are intense pressures from climate change, salmon farming pollution, and estuarine habitat loss on native black swan feeding and breeding. Locals across the state have observed a steep reduction in the breeding of black swans and flock sizes.
Tasmanians should have no confidence in the monitoring data Natural Resources and Environment relies on to approve “property protection permits”. It is spatially inadequate, lacks local assessment, and fails to account for the cumulative and lag effects of changing environmental impacts.
It is past time to end the prioritising of economic interests over the survival of Tasmania’s native wildlife.
Minister Palmer’s property protection permit system is broken, and views protected native wildlife as expendable and necessary collateral damage to commercial interests. She needs to step in and stop the further killing of this swan population, and pause the whole permit system for an assessment of alternative crop management approaches.