Media Releases - 25 June 2019

Damning Four Corners report proves new nature laws needed

The Wilderness Society provides the following comments on the ABC's Four Corners episode, Extinction Nation, aired 24 June 2019.

Wilderness Society National Campaigns Director, Lyndon Schneiders says: “The horrific evidence presented in last night’s Four Corners episode is just a taste of the extinction crisis gripping Australia. Our nation’s unique natural legacy is being lost through corporate greed and government prevarication.

“Just this week, the Federal Environment Minister, Sussan Ley, confirmed that Victoria’s faunal emblem, the Leadbeater’s possum, remains Critically Endangered. It is incomprehensible that iconic species like this are not protected by our national environment laws, yet dodgy logging deals called Regional Forest Agreements exempt logging—which is a major threat to forest-dwelling species including the possum—from national environmental laws.

“After 20 years, it’s clear that the Regional Forest Agreements have been a disaster for our native wildlife. The native forest logging industry’s exemption from national environment law is leading to wildlife extinction. Four Corners’ Extinction Nation shows that this special treatment must end.

“For years, paper giant Nippon has pulped Victoria’s native forests for Reflex paper products, putting the Leadbeater’s Possum on the pathway to extinction. 

“Frankly, we’ve had enough of governments, government ministers and big business shrugging their shoulders at a problem they clearly know is real and alarming. There needs to be substantial changes to Australian environmental law to save these species and an independent, well-resourced Environmental Protection Agency established to make sure that happens.

“Now, no one in Parliament can say that the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act is working. The Act is up for statutory review in October this year, and a key test of success for this review will be ensuring Australia has fit-for-purpose laws that can prevent extinction and enough funding to take real action to protect our species.

“Surely the government can find a few million dollars within the $500 billion national budget to save our natural heritage. This would be money well spent to protect our iconic animals, support critical ecosystems, and benefit Australians now and into the future,” Mr Schneiders concluded.

More information

For further comment, please contact Wilderness Society National Nature Campaign Manager Suzanne Milthorpe on 0408 582 396.

Click here to learn more about our campaign for new national nature laws. 

Small, speedy & on the brink of extinction

Most people have never seen a Leadbeater's (Fairy) Possum in the wild. And now, these tiny marsupials are in danger of being lost forever.