A report published recently, by WWF, showed that, over a 17 year period, 93% of the threatened species habitat, cleared mainly for stock and crop production, was NOT evaluated, even through the EPBC Act requires impact assessments of proposed land clearing on threatened species. With only 7% of threatened species habitat scrutinised, before clearing, again, we ask the question, where is ALL this green tape? Spurious claims that environmental approvals are ‘holding up economic development’ need to be challenged at all government levels; there is little evidence that there is a need to reduce ‘green tape’. In fact, the opposite is needed, with a significant investment in monitoring and regulation – there are lots of new jobs needed here!
All this allows federal government to avoid responsibility, and accountability, even though it is the federal government that enters Australia into international treaties, in relation to biodiversity preservation, such as CITES and the Convention on Biodiversity. Land use in Australia has gone unquestioned for 200 years and, as a result, 44.87% of Australia’s land mass is used for ‘Grazing natural vegetation’. By comparison, the land set aside for nature conservation is 7.87%, which is frankly ridiculous in a country the size of Australia, with such a small population and the country’s significant wealth. Bush fires have shown just how vulnerable Australian wildlife is to natural disasters, when they are corralled in to such a pitiful amount of land; only 4% of Australia’s land mass has been set aside for National Parks (this is included in the 7.87% set aside for nature conservation already mentioned).