I am pleased to announce a major boost for the protection and recovery of threatened species with the appointment of five new experts to the Threatened Species Scientific Committee.
The Committee plays a critical role in the Government’s protection of native species providing independent scientific advice on the listing of our most vulnerable plant and animal species and, importantly, in the standardisation of national protection measures across all states and territories.
I have last week re-appointed Emeritus Professor Helene Marsh FAA FTSE from James Cook University to continue as Chair, along with Professor David Keith from the University of New South Wales and Dr Dave Kendal from the University of Tasmania to continue as members of the Committee.
I have strengthened the Committee’s ability to provide advice that draws on Indigenous knowledge and helps land managers to care for their country by appointing Ms Cissy Gore-Birch, a Jaru/Kija woman from Western Australia, and Dr Richard Harper from the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences at Murdoch University.
During my time as Assistant Minister and now as Minister for the Environment, I have worked closely with the Committee on 63 listing decisions relating to threatened species and ecological communities, including the addition of 42 threatened species and two ecological communities, the transfer of eight species between listing categories, and delisting of eight species.
The Committee’s advice has been invaluable in the development of recovery plans, which are making a vital contribution to Australia’s environment.