Legislative Council: Tuesday, November 15, 2022


National Threatened Species Day

In reply to the Hon. T.A. FRANKS ().7 September 2022).

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector): The Minister for Climate, Environment and Water has advised:

1. There are no legislative requirements under the National Parks and Wildlife Act (NPW Act) or its regulations, to do anything specific to help protect a species once it is listed as threatened. The NPW Act establishes the legal framework for proclaiming conservation reserves which, among other things, protects wildlife habitats across the state. Schedule 1 of the Native Vegetation Act 1991 is linked to the threatened species schedules of the NPW Act so that habitats of threatened species and habitat offset requirements are taken into account in native vegetation clearance applications.

The NPW Act also imposes penalties where a person is convicted of an offence in relation to animals. These penalties escalate according to the number of animals involved in an offence.

2. On-ground management and monitoring of listed threatened species is undertaken by regional staff of government land management agencies, environmental NGOs, private landholders and community volunteers.

Some high priority nationally threatened species have national recovery plans and/or recovery teams that guide management, monitoring and reporting. The national recovery plans are a mandatory requirements of the national Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Some high priority South Australian threatened species also have conservation action plans and teams undertaking management and monitoring. The state action plans are not mandated under South Australian legislation, regulation or policy.

Listed threatened species are taken into account in the Department for Environment and Water's (DEW's) fire management planning and state development assessment processes. Population monitoring is a part of these planning processes. Notwithstanding these important activities, the majority of South Australia's listed threatened species currently have no targeted management or monitoring.

3. The labor government has committed to improving the protection and recovery of biodiversity in SA by providing:

$6 million to fund heritage agreements on privately managed properties to help protect threatened species and their habitats and prevent further species becoming threatened.

$3 million for Friends of Parks groups to work in national parks on weeding, planting, seed collecting and other nature restoration activities that will help to protect many of our threatened species.

$1 million to employ state landcare coordinator(s) to support volunteer groups and run small grant programs that will among other things support threatened species.

$2 million for citizen scientists to help protect nature and be involved in the recovery of threatened species.

$3 million to establish a Biodiversity Coordination Unit within DEW to:

work with university researchers on tackling pests, weeds and abundant species.

Biodiversity monitoring.

using science to protect nature (through supporting a high-level expert panel on biodiversity conservation).

targeted species recovery (specifically through coordination of a taskforce to bring back birds in the Mount Lofty Ranges).

Landscape coordination (working with landscape boards to ensure science is applied and shared statewide).

The government will also introduce a biodiversity act demonstrating its commitment to biodiversity conservation in this state.