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'Legislation provides new lease of life for endangered species', says Ross Kelly



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Minister for The Arts, Sport, The Environment and Territories

Ros Kelly 2

"LEGISLATION PROVIDES NEW LEASE OF LIFE FOR ENDANGERED SPECIES", SAYS ROS KELLY

Ros Kelly, the Minister for the Arts, Sport, the Environment and Territories, has welcomed the passage through ithe House of Representatives of the Endangered Species Protection Bill 1992. '

"The legislation provides new hope for Australia's precious endangered species. It also underpins the Labor Government’s longstanding commitment in this area", Mrs Kelly said.

"Since 1989 the Government has taken a number of initiatives to improve the prospects of our Endangered Species Program (ESP), the launch of a national strategy in 1989, the doubling of funding for the ESP in 1991 and the introduction of a Feral Pests Program in the 1992 budget. The Legislation builds on these initiatives."

Mrs Kelly identified the two most important aspects of the legislation as; "Its credible, scientifically based process for deciding what is nationally endangered or vulnerable, and its co-operative national approach to the implementation of recovery plans to improve the prospects of listed species."

The Minister said th at the urgent need to protect endangered species was now universally recognised by all levels of Government and th a t a co-operative rather thain coercive approach was the most effective way to achieve the common objective of long-term protection for our native plants and animals.

"Effectively implemented the Bill will also help to reduce conflict between protection of endangered species and development approvals by clearly spelling out recovery plans and identifying critical habitats. Ultimately, the increase in populations of many species should lessen the possibility of extinction through hum an activity."

Mrs Kelly also said th a t another key feature of the legislation was the identification of processes such as predation to feral animals which threaten the long-term survival of flora and fauna. These will be tackled through nationally co-ordinated T hreat Abatement Plans. This should also assist more

common native species and have major benefits for our rural environment and agricultural productivity.

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"I will be pressing for early proclamation of the Bill and look forward to working co-operatively with the State Government's and industry and conservation organisations in its implementation."

For further information: David Lording (06) 277 7640

17 December 1992