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Tuesday, 16 November 2004
Page: 131

Senator Brown asked the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, upon notice, on 30 August 2004:

(1) What is the current conservation status of the spotted handfish.

(2) What is its habitat range.

(3) When was it recognized as an endangered species.

(4) Given the Government's responsibility for endangered species, why has the Government failed to ratify a recovery plan for the period 2002 to 2006.

(5) Was the recovery plan for 1996 to 2001 fully implemented; if not, why not.

(6) What funding was expended in the recovery effort for 1996 to 2001.

(7) (a) What funding is required to fully implement the draft recovery plan for 2002 to 2006; and (b) how much has been allocated and expended to date.

(8) When will the Government ratify and publicly release the recovery plan for 2002 to 2006.

Senator Ian Campbell (Minister for the Environment and Heritage) —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) It is listed as endangered under Commonwealth and Tasmanian State legislation namely, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and the Threatened Species Protection Act 1995, respectively.

(2) Spotted Handfish are only found in Tasmanian State waters.

(3) 1996 (Australian Government).

1995 (Tasmanian Government).

(4) The Recovery Plan for the species was made on 2 February 2000. In 2001 the Australian Government funded the development of a revised Recovery Plan to be prepared by the Spotted Handfish Recovery Team in consultation with the Tasmanian Government Department of Primary Industry, Water and Environment (DPIWE). A draft revised plan has been submitted to my department for review. This plan has not yet met all the requirements for making recovery plans under the EPBC Act, in particular the need to consider public comments on the draft plan. DPIWE is yet to finalise public comment on the plan and is expected to submit the final version for my consideration once this process is complete.

(5) The highest priority actions for this species were implemented.

(6) $478,191 (Australian Government).

Unknown (Tasmanian Government).

(7) Unknown until draft Plan is finalized.

(8) As soon as practicable following the submission of a recovery plan that meets the requirements of the EPBC Act.