Mr BAYLEY question to MINISTER for ENVIRONMENT and CLIMATE CHANGE, Mr JAENSCH
The swift parrot recovery plan that you signed and the federal government released last week identifies the destruction of breeding and foraging trees by native forest logging as a significant threat to the bird's survival. It articulates what the science has shown for years. Action 1.8 requires you to:
Identify and protect state-owned land that has habitat critical for the survival of swift parrots.
The strategy directs you to consider formal protection for these sites as conservation reserves or national parks.
Citizen science evidence recorded with the Forest Practices Authority shows Forestry Tasmania is logging swift parrot habitat in the Wentworth Hills, Florentine, Styx and other important areas now. Will you stop the logging and assess these critically-important areas now for formal protection as reserves and fulfil your obligation under the national recovery plan agreement?
Mr Speaker, the Tasmanian Government is committed to working collaboratively to protect this critically endangered species using a coordinated and adaptive approach. We committed $1 million over four years to the swift parrot recovery project, which is building on existing recovery activities identified in the national swift parrot recovery plan and coordinating and enabling new initiatives in partnership with key national and Tasmanian agencies and industry.
In addition, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment initiated a project to conduct a holistic review of swift parrot habitat management in the context of the forest practices system to ensure that the approach is effective and adaptive. Together, these projects are improving our understanding of the species and the cumulative impact of present and emerging threats and will deliver effective actions on the ground in collaboration with other land managers.
My Government's agreement to jointly make the new national recovery plan for the swift parrot continues our collaborative efforts to manage the threats to the parrots throughout their range and to secure their future. The $1 million investment that we have made includes initiatives -
Dr WOODRUFF - Point of order, Mr Speaker, Standing Order 45 on relevance. The minister was directed to talk about strategy point 1.8. He has not got to 1.8 in the strategy.
Mr SPEAKER - You can raise Standing Order 45. I will remind the minister of relevance. However, I do not know what the minister is going to say in the next couple of minutes so I will allow the minister to continue his answer.
Mr JAENSCH - Mr Speaker, as I was saying, there has been substantial progress made on a range of initiatives including analysis of 14 years of swift parrot monitoring data by the Landscape Recovery Foundation providing evidence to confirm the status of the population, their occupancy year to year, association with the distribution of eucalypt species that they feed on and nest in and the development of new tools to confirm breeding success -
Dr Woodruff interjecting.
Mr SPEAKER - Order, Leader of the Greens. I know you are passionate about the issue but if you continually interject I will be passionate about the standing order and ask you to leave.
Mr JAENSCH - Targeting the protection and restoration of private land on Bruny Island, an area where the swift parrots regularly return to breed and which is currently free of sugar gliders. This project is encouraging land holders on the island to establish voluntary conservation covenants with the support of the Tasmanian Land Conservancy and through the NRE Private Land Conservation Program and engaging in a national specific needs assessment, which is informing management actions required to halt the decline and support recovery of the population, including the role of a captive insurance population to guard against extinction.
We have spoken in here before about the swift parrot forestry management project commenced in October 2022, which was reviewing swift parrot habitat requirements and the environmental, economic and social performance of the current habitat management approach under the forest practices system.
Options and recommendations for potential improvements are being made. We will keep working with our partners under the updated national recovery plan. Initiatives there include new information on emerging threats, particularly predation by the introduced sugar glider. The plan that has recently been finalised with the Australian Government will provide a useful contemporary resource in the identification of focus areas for further swift parrot recovery action.