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Government fails to use its power to protect endangered species.



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Australian Democrats Press Releases

Senator Andrew Bartlett Deputy Parliamentary Leader and Democrats Senator for Queensland Australian Democrats spokesperson for Environment & Animal Welfare

Dated: 07 September 2006 Press Release Number: itfjirfi Portfolio: Environment & Animal Welfare Related: Animal Welfare

Related: Energy and Resources

Government Fails to use its Power to Protect Endangered Species

Australian Democrat Environment spokesperson, Andrew Bartlett has called on the federal Government to use the strong powers they have under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) to protect Australia's threatened species.

"Australia has the highest biodiversity level in the world but also one of the highest rates of extinction."

"The federal Environment Minister has the power to address this problem, but has refused to do so."

"Australia has very strong laws federally, providing ample power for the federal Environment Minister with more than enough direct power to protect threatened and endangered species."

"Successive Environment Ministers have refused to use those powers, preferring not to impede development however short-sighted."

"The destruction of native species' natural habitats has been found to be directly linked to climate change and the Government is failing to act to prevent the subsequent extinction of these species."

"Australia also has the technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions now and prevent the unnecessary loss of any more of Australia's native wildlife."

"The introduction of a carbon price signal would be one way in which the Government could address climate change and arrest the rapid extinction of Australia's threatened species."

"A carbon price signal puts a price on carbon emissions and would encourage clean energy initiatives. This is not a particularly costly or burdensome initiative to consumers but would assist greatly in the reduction of greenhouse emissions."

"The Government has two clear options; it can prevent habitat destruction by acting under the EPBC and by directly addressing climate change through carbon emission reduction initiatives."

"The Government can take steps now to halt extinctions through its powers under the EPBC and the introduction of initiatives such as a carbon price signal," Senator Bartlett said.