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Labor steamrolls endangered species bill

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Senator Grant Tambling Shadow Minister for Community Services, External Territories and Northern Australia

Media Release


Widespread concern about federal endangered species legislation, particularly in the Northern Territory, had been ignored by the Federal Labor Government, Senator Grant Tambling said today.

Senator Tambling said he had received representations from the NT Chamber of Mines, the NT Fishing Industry Council and the NT Environment Council, all expressing concern about the Endangered Species Protection Bill 1992.

"While the NT Chamber of Mines, the NT Fishing Industry Council and the NT Environment Council expressed vastly different views, together they highlighted the Federal Government's lack of consultation and undue haste with this legislation.

"My discussions with NT Government Ministers, Mike Reed and Daryl Manzie, also revealed that the Federal Government bypassed the Ecologically Sustainable Development process and ignored the Inter-Governmental Agreement on the Environment (between the Commonwealth and the States).

"Clearly, the Federal Labor Government's commitment to co­ operation with the States and Territories is just shallow rhetoric."

Senator Tambling said the legislation, due to return to the Senate tomorrow (Thursday), was the subject of 81 last-minute amendments from the Democrats.

"We need to check how the Democrat amendments will impact on major Northern Territory projects such as McArthur River and Mt Todd, worth hundreds of millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs.

"While I support the objects of the Bill which provide for the protection of species of flora and fauna that are endangered or vulnerable, I will continue to argue against aspects which could work against Territory interests."

ENDS Contact: Senator Grant Tambling 06-2773436 Tiz Zeroni 089-813567