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Monday, 26 May 2003
Page: 15013


Mr Causley asked the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, upon notice, on 26 March 2003:

(1) Is the Endangered Species Unit applying the Federal precautionary principle to the exotic and toxic camphor laurel tree; if not, why not.

(2) Is he aware that the introduced tree is invasive in five states and there is increasing evidence of its toxicity to native birds and animals.


Dr Kemp (Minister for the Environment and Heritage) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(2) There is considerable debate over the severity and extent of the impact of Camphor Laurel's toxicity on native wildlife. In regard to this matter I have received a public nomination to list “Cinnamomum camphora, Camphor Laurel most toxic chemotypes” as a Key Threatening Process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. I have forwarded this nomination to the Threatened Species Scientific Committee for advice.

I expect to receive the Committee's advice shortly, at which time I will be making a decision on whether or not the nominated process qualifies for listing as a Key Threatening Process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

My decision will be advertised on the following Environment Australia website:

http://www.ea.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/nominations/index.html