Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment and Biodiversity spokesperson
Freedom of Information documents reveal Tasmania refused to sign onto the critically-endangered swift parrot recovery plan unless it was edited to remove “an imbalance in narrative” around native forest logging.
The FOI documents show Minister Jaensch’s department demanded references to native forest logging and silviculture be removed as the greatest threats to the survival of the swift parrot.
This is scandalous - recent studies show there are fewer than 300 swift parrots left. The independent science tells us native forest logging is one of the key threat drivers towards its extinction.
This is the same science that contributed to the original recovery plan.
Minister Jaensch’s department demanded the recovery plan remove reference to Tasmania’s Forest Practices System failing to protect all breeding habitat for the swift parrot, and deliberately increasing the threat to its survival. This Minister and department are allegedly responsible for protecting Tasmania’s threatened species.
In Question Time, we asked Minister Jaensch what knowledge he had, and what role he played, in censoring the threats to the swift parrot’s survival. We also asked new Resources Minister, Felix Ellis, what he or his predecessor in the role, Guy Barnett knew.
Minister Ellis claimed then-Minister Barnett had no involvement in the Recovery Plan censoring, and Environment Minister Roger Jaensch attempted to shift the blame to his department. The Greens are not convinced.
The swift parrot is clearly an inconvenient resident in the Liberals’ forestry agenda. The Liberals appear to be actively furthering a push towards the parrot’s extinction. This interference from the State Government is scandalous, but unfortunately not surprising.
We will keep investigating what role Liberal Ministers had in altering the draft swift parrot recovery plan to remove references to the threat of forestry. The future of the precious swift parrot is hanging in the balance.