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Greens to fund threatened species research, habitat protection and wildlife carers in Tasmania.



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Media Release - Australian Greens

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, Tasmania Senator Larissa Waters, Queensland

Greens to fund threatened species research, habitat protection and wildlife carers in Tasmania.

Today, at the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary in Brighton, the Australian Greens announced a costed plan to fund threatened species research, habitat protection and support wildlife carers in Tasmania.

"Across Australia, we're facing an extinction crisis - with more than 20 per cent of our mammal species threatened with extinction," Tasmanian Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said.

"Instead of tackling the extinction crisis, Kevin Rudd is cutting millions from the Biodiversity Fund and Tony Abbott wants to hand national environment approvals over to the states, so that damaging developments, such as the rush of mining proposals threatening Tassie devil habitat in the Tarkine, don't have to face federal scrutiny.

"Only the Greens are standing up for the environment with a $135 million national package to protect threatened species and support wildlife carers.

"Wildlife carers play a vital role in nursing sick and injured threatened species and, where possible, rehabilitating them for release back into their natural habitat.

"These volunteer heroes give up countless hours to provide round-the-clock care and dig into their own pockets to provide food, medication and shelter.

"The Greens plan for a national grants program to help wildlife carers with the costs of their invaluable work would provide $5 million annually over the next three years.

"Given the large number of carers here and the invaluable work they do in looking after our nationally threatened species, we would anticipate a significant portion going to Tasmania," Senator Whish-Wilson said.

Queensland Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said that as well as supporting wildlife carers, the Greens package would help protect threatened species from habitat destruction, pollution and invasive species.

"In my home state, Queensland, we're on the brink of losing bilbies, with fewer than 700 left in the wild. While here in Tasmania, devils, bandicoots, quolls and wedge-tailed eagles are all under threat," Senator Waters said.

"Through our plan, $30 million a year would be invested to map important habitat nationally and to protect that habitat under our national environment laws.

"Without question under the Greens plan the Tarkine would be a priority region for this assessment - to identify and protect critical habitat for the precious Tasmanian creatures in this world renowned wilderness.

"Another $10 million a year would be invested in the rapid listing of threatened species, the development of recovery plans and additional research to turn around Australia's biodiversity decline.

"Only the Greens can be trusted on the environment," Senator Waters said.

Read the full plan here.

Media contacts: Senator Whish-Wilson: Thomas Moore - 0409 164 603 Senator Waters: Monique Vandeleur - 0419 626 725