Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

‘Threatened Species Unit should be added to threatened list on International Threatened Species Day’

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*Pic: Montage by Jenny Weber

Swift Parrot images ©Dr Eric Woehler

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First published September 7

The Tasmanian government’s threatened species unit should be added to the threatened list as we celebrate International Threatened Species Day today.

The threatened species unit, part of the Department of Primary Industry, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) was established in 1995 when the Threatened Species Protection Act commenced. There are currently 680 species listed on Schedules of the Act as either endangered, vulnerable or rare and at risk.

The Threatened Species Unit has historically been funded through a combination of Commonwealth grants allocated to address specific species concerns or through agreements such as the Regional Forest Agreement and State government funding. Unfortunately both State and Federal governments have turned their backs on threatened species so the number of staff in the Threatened Species Unit has reduced from around 15 fulltime equivalent (FTE) to just 2.8 FTE.

“For a State that prides itself on our natural values and relies upon them to underpin our tourism industry it’s distressing to learn there are less than three fulltime positions funded to protect the 680 species at risk,” said CPSU General Secretary Tom Lynch.

“The risks facing most of these plants and animals are increasing as development pushes deeper into their habitats and the impact of climate change bites but the Hodgman government is reducing the resources allocated to protect them,” said Mr. Lynch.

The capacity of this tiny team is reduced further by a complete lack of interest from the Minister, Matthew Groom, who has allowed the Scientific Advisory Committee to lapse by failing to make new appointments. Under the legislation the statutory obligations of the Threatened Species Unit can’t be fulfilled without a Scientific Advisory Committee so the normal work of the unit – maintaining listings, progressing draft listings etc is stalled.

“It seems Minister Groom is more interested in encouraging development in our National Parks and World Heritage Areas than defending the species those areas were reserved to protect in the first place,” said Mr. Lynch. “There seems to be a conflict of interest in Minister Groom having responsibility for threatened species when he is such a strong advocate for development in our reserved lands”.

An example of how under resourced the Threatened Species Unit is can be seen by the meagre operating funds they have been allocated. Following the most recent cuts there are now insufficient funds to pay for public notices to be placed in newspapers advising of changes to the Threatened Species Schedules notices required under the Act.

Greens: Threatened Species ignored by the Liberals Today is National Threatened Species Day, commemorating the anniversary of the death of the last thylacine in 1936. Unfortunately, the Liberals seem intent on repeating the mistakes that saw our most iconic species disappear from our island 81 years ago. Today the Eastern Quoll, the Swift Parrot and the Tasmanian Devil may have the highest profiles, but there are 680 species listed under the Threatened Species Protection Act as endangered or at risk …

Matthew Groom: Better protecting threatened species in Tasmania The Hodgman Liberal Government takes very seriously our responsibility for the protection of threatened species …

Wilderness Society: Groom called on to clarify Lib’s logging policy for Lobster habitat … Last month, Minister Groom jointly signed a Recovery Plan for the lobster with Federal Minister Josh Frydenberg under national environment laws, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. This plan includes an agreed action to ‘increase the total area of giant freshwater crayfish habitat that is reserved’. This is inconsistent with his government’s policy to remove reservation for 356,000 hectares of high conservation value forest across the state, including in the catchments named as critical lobster habitat. ‘The Lobster Recovery Plan and its agreed action to increase reserves in key habitat areas was a welcome dose of common sense, underpinned by science,” said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for the Wilderness Society. ‘But this runs counter the Hodgman Government’s plan to reduce the amount of forests reserved in identified river catchments, in an attempt to introduce logging.’ ‘As we again recognise the tragic day the last known thylacine died 81 years ago, Minister Groom needs to clarify how his government can reconcile a policy position that is directly counter to an agreed plan to save another species from extinction …

• John Hawkins in Comments: … On her death, aged 94 in London with no immediate family, she left half her fortune to the nursing home that looked after her sister and the other half to marine life in Tasmania. The approximately $30 million in funds in today’s money was left in part on her death in 1988 for the protection of baby seals and dolphins in Tasmanian waters. This fund under the Trust deed is administered and controlled by the Premier of the State. I suggest that you ask the Minister if the Trust pays to move the seals from the Tassal pens to the north. If this is so is it being misused at the direction of the Premier? Further, is it being spent on marine species staff travelling the world as per the answer given to you and quoted above by the Fat One? Over to you …

Guardian: Pictures of the pollies on Threatened Species Day …

First Dog on the Moon, Guardian: Which threatened species will pee on a politician in the fight for justice?

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Ian Rist

    September 8, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Sells papers, eases the consciences of some I suppose and keeps the ‘dream’ alive. Once again I say it has very strong similarities to the Tasmanian fox saga.
    Anyone that chooses to believe this nonsense doesn’t know much about the Tasmanian bush and our wildlife.

  2. Ted Mead

    September 8, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    #4&5 – Vague video footage – but If you look at the proportions of body, legs, tail it appears more like a giant feline to me.

    I don’t think anything conclusive can be gained by this low quality/ low pixel count video. (phone video?)

    Back to the drawing board for the Thylacine hunters!

  3. philll Parsons

    September 8, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Internet search shows a 2009/10 report on the Princess Melikoff Trust in the National Library, that the Trust continues to benefit from Tattersalls and that the specific role of the Trust stated in the Australian will is to apply the income to “the prevention of the practice of killing of baby seals and dolphins”.

    Seems to me that at the least the report shown in the search needs an update.

  4. philll Parsons

    September 8, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Mmmm. What, in the time the Princess Melikoff Trust has been managed, has happened to the principle?. Has it grown to keep up with inflation, shrunk or disappeared into general revenue/ No I don’t trust government, or indeed anyone else, with a bucket of money.

  5. Carol Rea

    September 7, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Very interesting
    The Princess Melikoff Trust Marine Mammal Conservation Program
    DPIPWE’s marine mammal conservation program is supported by the Princess Melikoff Trust. It has a small and dedicated team, on call 24/7. Their main actions are:

    To provide a state-wide service to respond to stranded, entangled or injured dolphins, whales and seals
    Determining the current conservation status, biology and ecology of marine mammals in Tasmania
    Monitoring current and emerging threats to marine mammals in Tasmania and progressing ways of mitigating these threats
    Increasing community awareness and support for marine mammal conservation through public advocacy, education, presentations and the promotion of responsible eco-tourism
    Collaborating with national and international experts to undertake work that leads to a better understanding of the conservation of marine mammals in Tasmania.
    Of the ten mammal species listed as Threatened in Tasmania, seven are marine mammals. Increasing our knowledge and understanding of them will contribute to management actions that will help to bring them back from the brink.

  6. Carol Rea

    September 7, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    #8 John I believe that Tassal pay for the seals to be relocated. The private transporters have ute and trailer combinations that take 2-3 in the ute and 3-4 in the trailer. Often seen around Margate.

  7. Ivo Edwards

    September 7, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Thanks for that information Carol (#6) Let’s hope that the main deliberate killers of threatened species in Tasmania, DPIPWE, via its encouragement and facilitation of 1080 poisoning, are appropriately penalised?

  8. John Hawkins

    September 7, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Carol #5

    Ask the Fat One about the Princess Melikoff Trust.

    This kind and generous lady married a White Russian Prince with no money and gained a title.

    As Pauline Curran she was born and bred in Hobart to inherit a substantial slice of the Adams family Tatts Lotto fortune.

    As a result she was able to travel the world on the proceeds only to fall in love and marry her Prince in 1925.

    On her death, aged 94 in London with no immediate family, she left half her fortune to the nursing home that looked after her sister and the other half to marine life in Tasmania.

    The approximately $30 million in funds in today’s money was left in part on her death in 1988 for the protection of baby seals and dolphins in Tasmanian waters.

    This fund under the Trust deed is administered and controlled by the Premier of the State.

    I suggest that you ask the Minister if the Trust pays to move the seals from the Tassal pens to the north.

    If this is so is it being misused at the direction of the Premier?

    Further, is it being spent on marine species staff travelling the world as per the answer given to you and quoted above by the Fat One?

    Over to you.

    John Hawkins

  9. Ian Rist

    September 7, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Remember Lynch was the one that backed the Tasmanian Fox Task Force and its associated 1080 meat baiting campaign for non-existent Tasmanian foxes.
    Such hypocrisy, in my view.

  10. Carol Rea

    September 7, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Matthew Grooms FB page
    Today, on Threatened Species Day, the Tasmanian Government is announcing a significant increase in the penalties for deliberately killing threatened species in Tasmania.
    Earlier this year we saw the horrific example of this type of conduct with the deliberate shooting of threatened wedge tail eagles. The community were rightly outraged.
    Currently the maximum penalty for deliberately killing a threatened species is a fine of up to $15,900. There is currently no provision for gaol time for these types of offences.
    This is seriously out of step with maximum penalties in other jurisdictions and we believe it is out of step with community expectations.
    We have therefore decided to increase the maximum penalty to $100,000 and up to 12 months gaol time for deliberately killing a threatened species in Tasmania.
    This will send a strong message to the community that this type of conduct is totally unacceptable in Tasmania.

    My comment with link to this article.
    But the Threatened Species team is down from 15 staff to 2.8. Please explain how this is a step forward?

    His response Carol thanks for the note. We would of course always like more resources but actually total numbers including for marine species have remained fairly steady over the last 6 years. The marine species staff have been restructured into a different group but are still maintaining their work program. One staff member is currently on leave working on a conservation project overseas. In addition, we have also increased the number of staff working specifically on the orange bellied parrot recovery program and also significantly increased our capital investment for a new captive breeding facility for the program.

  11. Ian Rist

    September 7, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Let me say this first up that there is no-one more than myself that would like to see a Tasmanian Tiger. Many stories from my father of his actual encounters with the “Hyena” instilled a life long fascination with the animal and its persecution.
    That said I admitted to myself a long time ago that they have long gone.

    However I don’t believe this constant sensationalist media does the whole Tiger’s sad history any good at all and casts a dark shadow over Tasmania generally in more ways than I want to mention here.

    Phil Parsons is correct in what he says about the number of animals to sustain a viable population and anyone with a knowledge of biology knows this fact.

    The Tassie Tiger mystery has strange similarities to the Tasmanian Fox mystery, to prove it is here needs hard evidence not just sensationalism and speculation.

  12. phill Parsons

    September 7, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    The release of the tiger footage may be coincidental. It certainly should be interesting for those who study loss and society.

    Paddle in his work The last Tasmanian Tiger posits that a predator needs 50 breeding individuals to maintain a viable population.

    Where have these furtive Tigers been that they have not been seen.

    If one can argue that what we have done has not really been harmful then continuing that practice must be okay. Land clearing, bounty hunting and other forms of habitat destruction including broad scale poisoning are all indirectly justified.

    Vale the Tasmanian Emu.

  13. O'Brien

    September 7, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Tom Lynch was presented with allegations of serious corruption within DPIPWE/NPWS Fox Task Force in 2011/12, he chose to do nothing. At the time he chose to refrain from action and look the other way. For Tom Lynch to come out of the blue crying for action exposes him as the time waster he is.

    For Premier Bec White to have a union support base commensurate with her abilities Tom Lynch must be replaced as CPSU (Tas) secretary. Tom Lynch has grown far too fat and comfortable doing nothing all day long, in my view. It is time for change. How long should we expect any oligarchy to last?

  14. Claire Gilmour

    September 6, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Oh give us a break from the hyperbole Matthew Groom. The rhetoric does not match the reality. Political words are cheap, especially in the face of an up and coming election.

    One only needs to hear and look at you to know you’d lose your way following your own foot-steps backwards in a sand dune, let alone in an environment of threatened species.

    When’s the last time you actually saw any threatened species in the wild?

    Pollyzoology – a politician who reads words, sees pictures on paper, responds, but never sees the actual species in the wild.

    Where are the big fines for corp/gov sponsored killing sprees of endangered species?

    Oh that’s right ALL the so-called ‘policing’ – the environmental protection systems are under the banner of … Department of State Growth. A department designed for money over ecology; a department designed to ignore and sidestep the environment over the financial incentives. A department designed NOT to protect threatened species, but to limit real-time information.

    We need a department of – stopping political government bullshit!

  15. Chris

    September 6, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Threatened species under the Fat Controller are wide and cover so many areas.
    First the destruction of the Fresh water Cray is Barnacle Smiling Assassin policy, who cares its the wrong colour

    The stand and pontificate Fergies Son is not much better, he lets The Gutwhinger cut his operations, his staff, his beds and his paramedics who are expected to work 14 hours a day in dangerous circumstances causing them to leave the service.

    Rocky the 55th is not threatened as he has his rural friends backing his leadership ambitions under a National Socialist agenda named Otto’s vision.
    Wee Willy raises his eyebrows and knows nuffin.

    Jackie the fashion statement is aware that there are kids….

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