Australians have a right to know the scale of the nature crisis before they vote in the upcoming federal election, the Australian Conservation Foundation said today while urging the Morrison government to release the overdue 2021 State of the Environment report.
Every five years the federal government is required to conduct and release a comprehensive review of the state of Australia’s environment.
Independent authors from across Australia contribute to the report, which is organised around 12 topics: air quality, Antarctica, biodiversity, climate, coasts, extreme events, heritage, Indigenous knowledge, inland water, land, marine and urban environments.
ACF understands Environment Minister Sussan Ley has had the report since December.
“Australians have a right to know the scale of the nature crisis before they vote in the upcoming federal election,” said ACF’s national nature campaigner Jess Abrahams.
“Much-loved Australian animals like koalas and gang-gang cockatoos have recently become ‘endangered’ and even Bogong moths, which were seen in their billions just a few years ago, have suffered a 99% population crash.
“This decline isn’t some sort of accident – it’s happening on the federal government’s watch and is a result of federal government decisions.
“Our research shows the government approved the destruction of more than 200,000 hectares of threatened species habitat in the 10-year period covering the last two State of the Environment reports – both of which sounded clear warnings about habitat destruction aggravating extinction.
“In the five years leading up to the 2016 State of the Environment report the government approved the destruction of 80,000 hectares of threatened species habitat, then it approved a further 120,000 hectares in the five years leading up to this latest, unreleased, report.
“We urge the Morrison government to immediately release this critical report on the scale of the nature and climate crisis and get on with the job of protecting and restoring Australia’s unique wildlife and special places.
“Australians love nature – we’re in the midst of a nature and climate crisis – this information should be released immediately.”