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Tuesday, 19 June 2007
Page: 155

Senator Siewert asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, upon notice, on 8 December 2006:

With reference to the proposed clearing of regrowth rainforest at Field 28, North West Point on Christmas Island for phosphate mining:

(1)   Is the Minister aware that Phosphate Resources Ltd is about to remove an estimated 90 per cent of the foraging habitat of the remaining population of the Christmas Island pipistrelle bat, which was listed as critically-endangered on the same day as the orange bellied parrot.

(2)   Can the Minister identify what financial resources have been allocated to recovery efforts for the: (a) orange-bellied parrot; and (b) pipistrelle bat.

Senator Abetz (Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation) —The Minister for the Environment and Water Resources has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1)   At this point in time there is no action proposed by Christmas Island Phosphates (CIP) / Phosphate Resources Limited (PRL) on Field 28.

(2)   Yes. (a) The Australian Government has spent over $1 million for direct actions to address Orange-bellied Parrot recovery. An additional $3.2 million is to be spent in the 2006/07 and 2007/08 financial years for the implementation of recovery actions. (b) Over $110, 000 of Natural Heritage Trust funding has been provided to date for the recovery of the Christmas Island pipistrelle bat. An additional $400,000 of Natural Heritage Trust funding has also been allocated to address the impacts of introduced exotics on Christmas Island, such as the Yellow Crazy Ant, which has been identified as a key threatening process for the Pipistrelle bat.