The Coalition's Policy to Protect Australia's Threatened Species

Key Commitments

Australia’s unique native flora and fauna must be protected.

Our unacceptably high rate of species extinction is a problem that needed a fresh approach.

That is why the Coalition appointed Australia’s first Threatened Species Commissioner and released Australia’s first Threatened Species Strategy.

The Strategy contains ambitious, but achievable targets to turn around the trajectory of 20 priority birds, 20 priority mammals, and 30 priority plants by 2020.

The Threatened Species Strategy also commits to the creation of five feral cat-free islands, 10 mainland feral cat-free wildlife enclosures, and the culling of two million feral cats.

For the first time ever, threatened species have an Australian Government policy framework with hard and measurable targets.

Since the appointment of the Threatened Species Commissioner in June 2014, the Coalition has mobilised more than $208 million for projects that directly support and protect our threatened species.

However, protecting our vulnerable wildlife is not a task that governments can do alone. We can only be successful by working in partnership with all levels of government, business and the community.

Across Australia local communities, environment groups and ‘friends of’ groups are working tirelessly to protect our vulnerable species. We want to support their efforts.

To build on our significant action to date, a re-elected Turnbull Government will create a $5 million Threatened Species Recovery Fund.

The Threatened Species Recovery Fund will sit within the National Landcare programme and provide funding for community-led work to protect Australian threatened species.

The Threatened Species Commissioner will work with local communities to identify and develop projects that will assist us in protecting our priority wildlife species such as the Gilbert’s Potoroo, the Southern Cassowary and the Ormeau Bottle Tree.

The Fund will work to leverage other funding sources.

Our commitment will deliver tangible benefits for Australia’s threatened species, as well as helping improve community engagement in the environment.

Our Plan to Protect Australia’s Threatened Species

The Coalition will invest $5 million in a new Threatened Species Recovery Fund.

Community and other groups outside government make invaluable contributions to the recovery of threatened species. We want to support their efforts.

The Threatened Species Recovery Fund will provide funding for community-led work to protect our unique wildlife. The Threatened Species Commissioner will ensure the Fund is able to leverage additional funding for protecting threatened species.

Projects for funding will be identified by the Threatened Species Commissioner, with the key criteria of helping to meet the targets of the Threatened Species Strategy.

Projects could include predator management, habitat protection and restoration, and securing and reinstating populations.

The Fund will sit within the National Landcare programme.

Our commitment will deliver tangible benefits for Australia’s threatened species, as well as helping improve community engagement in the environment.

Our Threatened Species Recovery Fund also responds to the need for more community-based solutions, as noted by the Threatened Species Strategy:

“To address the decline of Australia’s threatened species, the community has called for a more action-based, prioritised, targeted, and coordinated approach to managing the threats and conserving the habitat of our animals and plants, thus giving them a better opportunity to survive and thrive.”

The Coalition’s Threatened Species Fund builds on our significant and practical achievements to protect Australia’s threatened species.

We appointed Australia’s first Threatened Species Commissioner to bring a national focus to conservation efforts to address the growing number of native flora and fauna in Australia at risk of extinction. The Commissioner also works directly with communities at grassroots levels raising awareness of, and support for, threatened species.

The Coalition has taken strong, practical action to protect Australia’s threatened species and has already mobilised more than $208 million for projects that directly support our vulnerable fauna and flora.

We released Australia’s first Threatened Species Strategy to establish a new national approach. The Threatened Species Strategy is a plan for how we will prioritise effort and work in partnership with the community and state and territory governments over the next five years.

The Threatened Species Strategy focuses on:

  • tackling feral cats
  • creating safe havens for species most at risk
  • improving habitat
  • intervening in emergencies to avert extinctions

Our Threatened Species Strategy aims to turn around the population trajectory of 20 priority birds, 20 priority mammals, and 30 priority plants by 2020.

The Threatened Species Strategy also commits to the creation of five feral cat-free islands, 10 mainland feral cat-free wildlife enclosures and the culling of two million feral cats.

We have funded hundreds of projects to protect and restore the bush and its wildlife through the Green Army, 20 Million Trees, National Landcare Programme and our Commonwealth parks estate.

We have also established a Threatened Species Recovery Hub under the National Environmental Science Programme with $30 million in funding. The Hub will provide the science needed to maximise outcomes from our investment in recovery actions.

We know that effective action requires partnerships with governments, species recovery teams, farmers and private landholders, Indigenous Australians, businesses, Landcare groups and the broader community.

The Coalition convened Australia’s first Threatened Species Summit to bring together state and territory ministers, relevant business leaders, scientific and conservation management experts, non-government organisations and others active in threatened species conservation.

The Coalition is further enhancing our commitment to protect Australia’s threatened species through our new Threatened Species Recovery Fund.

The first nine projects to be supported by the Fund are:

The Choice

The Coalition has a strong track record of policies that are in place and working to protect the environment, tackle climate change and deliver sustainable local environmental projects which support Australia’s native species.

We have mobilised over $208 million in funding for projects that directly protect our threatened species.

We will deliver an $8.8 million funding package to help eradicate Yellow Crazy Ants and tackle tramp ants in Far North Queensland, which threaten native species. We will deliver a $30 million funding package to support local parks and environments.

Under the Coalition, $1 billion is being invested through the National Landcare Programme. This includes a programme to plant 20 million trees by 2020.

The Coalition has announced $461 million in funding for the Great Barrier Reef and a comprehensive Reef 2050 Plan. Australian governments are investing more than $2 billion over the next decade to manage and protect the Great Barrier Reef.

Our climate change policies are working and the Emissions Reduction Fund is delivering significant abatement and co-benefits for land revegetation. It is absolutely clear that we will meet and beat Australia’s 2020 carbon reduction target and we are on track to achieve our target of reducing our emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030.

Under the Coalition, Australia continues to have some of the most stringent and effective national environmental laws in the world.

The Coalition is showing leadership on protecting Australia’s threatened native species after six years of inaction under Labor and The Greens.

Labor’s approach to the environment is to tax businesses, increase costs for households, and undercut Australia’s competitiveness. Labor wants to reintroduce a carbon tax – a tax that increases power bills for households and businesses.

Labor has no answer on how it will reach its increased renewable energy target – an increase that will see a huge rise in your electricity bills, job losses, and more expensive goods and services across the economy.

Labor’s track record in Government is exceptional only in its degree of failure. Incompetence and mismanagement were the hallmarks of the Rudd-Gillard Labor Government, from the disastrous Home Insulation Programme to the failed Cash for Clunkers scheme and the Green Loans scandal.

While Labor has a litany of policy failures, the Coalition has a strong track record of environmental policy successes.

Costs

The Coalition will invest $5 million to establish the Threatened Species Recovery Fund.

This builds on the existing comprehensive suite of policies to protect Australia’s threatened species.

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