Funding pledges have been made by the Coalition and the Greens to protect Australia's threatened species as the Federal election campaign crossed the halfway point this week.
The Coalition has announced that if re-elected it will create a $5 million Threatened Species Recovery Fund to support local communities in the fight to protect Australia's vulnerable wildlife. The fund will provide seed money and community grants for local projects that strongly align with the targets of Australia's Threatened Species Strategy, introduced in July last year. Examples of these projects include work to control predators and improve habitat in far north Queensland to protect the Southern Cassowary; creating a new secure population in Western Australia of Gilbert's Potoroo – the world's rarest marsupial; and predator control in Tasmania's Meander Valley to protect the Eastern Barred Bandicoot and Eastern Quoll.
The Greens have also launched an election policy to protect Australia's native wildlife and biodiversity with a $2.1 billion pledge. The pledge includes a four-year, $130-million Threatened Species Plan to identify and protect important habitat, and increase funding for threatened species management and research. It also includes a re-establishment and doubling of the Biodiversity Fund, which will support a program to expand and better manage World Heritage Areas, national parks, Indigenous Protected Areas and private land conservation.