… Scientists are the next casualties …
Malcolm Turnbull's Government has launched yet another offensive on the environment, with the announcement it was sacking dozens of scientists.
“The rivers of cash that the government has to splash around don't extend to environmental protection,” said Susie Russell, North Coast Environment Council Vice-President.
“This will have a significant impact on north coast forests. We have been relying on the Recovery Planning process to guarantee some protection for nationally endangered species. Only last month, NCEC was a signatory (with NEFA, the National Parks Association and the South East Region Conservation Alliance) to a letter to federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg. We pleaded for Canberra to take its environmental responsibilities seriously. We pointed out that the NSW Government was not abiding by Federal Recovery Plans for threatened species.
The Greater Glider is one of the species where a Recovery Plan is required, but nothing gets produced.
Photo by Jasmine Zeleny.
“We had hoped the Federal Government would make NSW abide by Federal Recovery Plans, which outline measures needed to prevent further species decline. As it is, those Recovery Plans are incomplete, and many have, or are due to expire. We hoped with all the talk of a super budget that was going to splash around cash, there would be resources invested in trying to stop so many of Australia's unique plants and animals being wiped off the face of the planet.
“This Government's response is to sack the staff that write the Federal Recovery Plans!” she said.
“Research, monitoring and recovery planning are all to be cut in favour of buying a few blocks of land here and there or planting seedlings. Mature forests, with trees of more than 100 years old are being sacrificed and their habitat potential annihilated.
“Older forests provide more water, are less prone to wildfire, are home to a wider variety of animals and store more carbon. Any smart nation would be valuing those qualities. Not Australia. They want to turn those big old trees into wood pellets to burn in power stations and call it renewable energy. Another false solution to climatic change that is already having significant impacts.
“To make sure science doesn't stand in the way, they sack the scientists who have been writing the reports documenting the more than a thousand species vulnerable to extinction”, Ms Russell said.
“Shooting the messenger. It's a time-old tradition of despots. Usually when their empire is on the brink of collapse. But it didn't previously remove whole species from the face of the earth. This time it could well be different.
“Scientists aren't telling the Government what is wants to hear. So the Government is getting rid of them no doubt it will find some who are prepared to sing the Government song... for a price,” she lamented.
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