Media release

Government taken to Court for not following its own threatened species laws

May 22, 2013


Yesterday, Supreme Court proceedings were commenced to sue the Department of Environment and Primary Industries for years of failure to protect Victoria’s threatened wildlife.

Environment East Gippsland, represented by the Environment Defenders Office, will allege in Court that the State Government has breached the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act by not preparing conservation plans called Action Statements for four threatened species: the Glossy Black Cockatoo, the Long-nosed Potoroo, the Eastern She-oak Skink and the Large Brown Tree Frog.

No case like this has ever been brought in Victoria before.

Felicity Millner, Principal Lawyer at the EDO, stated “The Glossy Black Cockatoo has been on the threatened list for 18 years, and still does not have an Action Statement. The law says that Action Statements must be prepared as soon as possible after they have been listed.”

She further explained that “This will be a landmark case.  The government has a legal obligation to protect threatened species by preparing Action Statements, which details what needs to be done to guarantee the survival of our endangered plants and animals. The government has not done this for hundreds of species, including the four species in these Court proceedings.”

Jill Redwood from EEG said: “When we won the last Supreme Court case in 2010 against the government logging agency VicForests, we proved that they had failed to survey for and protect endangered forest wildlife for years. However we soon discovered that they can ignore these rare animals because despite acknowledgement that they are in dire trouble, there’s no protection plan they have to follow! ”

“We have amazing animals that exist nowhere else on earth, but the laws to protect them are ignored. The way the state government is applying the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act is instead guaranteeing their extinction.”



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