BAIRD-GRANT ASSAULT ON ENVIRONMENT CLAIMS 1000th VICTIM

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The Baird-Grant Government’s assault on the environment continues apace with the number of species of animals and plants in NSW threatened with extinction exceeding 1,000.

Last month the most recent State of the Environment Report put the total number of species threatened with extinction at 999.

The inclusion this week of the Bellinger River Snapping Turtle and the koala population near the Tweed River in northern NSW brings the total to 1001 – a grim milestone for the environment.

Yet the Government plans to legislate in the next parliamentary session to gut the laws that protect biodiversity.

The news that yet more mammals, birds, plants and amphibians are under threat comes against a backdrop of ongoing neglect of the state’s environment by the Baird-Grant Government.

The NSW Government has slashed the budget of environmental agencies by $60 million since 2012, including a $22 million cut to the National Parks and Wildlife Services.

Quotes attributable to Opposition Leader Luke Foley

Koala numbers on the NSW North Coast have plummeted by a third in 20 years and yet this government is spending a paltry $45,000 this year in protecting them. It is a scandal.

“Mike Baird loves a milestone and loves to be number one but I imagine that this is one statistic he won’t be crowing about.

"This ever-growing list should sound the alarm bells and convince Mike Baird to drop his legislation that will wind back laws put in place a decade ago to protect biodiversity."

Quotes attributable to Shadow Environment Minister Penny Sharpe

"This is a grim milestone for the environment and one that this government should be ashamed of.

“Government has a duty to look after the environment, not view it as merely a line item in the budget or an asset to exploit.”