ACTION ALERT - 2 May 2008
Nominations for National Heritage Assessment need your support
Action required as soon as possible
A decision by the Federal Minister for Environment, Heritage and the Arts, on the Finalised Priority Assessment List for National Heritage assessment, developed from public nominations and advice from the Australian Heritage Council, is imminent.
National heritage listings offer an opportunity, and a relatively quick process, for securing new and/or improved protection for large areas of Australia' s biodiversity hotspots, which can, with other EPBC habitat protection methods and programs, effectively complement and fortify the National Reserve System.
HSI currently has 17 heritage nominations, some dating back to 2005, waiting to be triggered for assessment under the new process. Previously all public nominations were required to be assessed within a certain statutory time period. However, following amendments to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) in December 2006, a new process was established to deal with public nominations for threatened species, ecological communities and heritage places. The new process requires the Minister to advise the public of the Finalised Priority Assessment List (FPAL), which includes the nominations that will be assessed in the coming year. Nominations that are not included may be considered for the following round, however, if they are not included in the subsequent year they will be rejected from the assessment process altogether.
The following is a list of nominations currently awaiting assessment and when they were first nominated by HSI. All in our view represent areas that are of outstanding national conservation importance:
- Drysdale River National Park (6 Dec 07)
- Great Western Woodlands (30 Apr 07)
- Lake Eyre and Elliot Price Conservation Park (27 Apr 07)
- Brisbane Water National Park (20 Dec 06)
- Prince Regent Nature Reserve (19 Dec 06)
- Cape York (15 Dec 06)
- Kimberley Islands Dingo Populations (5 nominations) (19 Sep 06)
- Bradshaw Field Training Area, Fraser Island, Kapalga, the Arafura Swamp, the Simpson Desert and Kosciusko National Park for their critical Dingo populations (24 May 06)
- Barrow Island and its surrounding waters (16 Dec 05)
- Paroo River Catchment (15 Dec 05)
- Daintree Lowland Rainforest (15 Sep 06)
- Australia' s Antarctic Territory (AAT) / Australia' s Antarctic Whale Sanctuary (EEZ) (15 Sep 06)
With the exception of Drysdale River National Park, it is the last chance for these nominations to be considered for inclusion on the FPAL. If unsuccessful, under the current process all 16 of these nominations will be rejected outright without ever being assessed.
A decision on the Final Priority Assessment List is imminent! Please write to The Hon. Peter Garrett MP, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 or email Peter.Garrett.MP@aph.gov.au
- Ask that all public nominations for heritage listing, including HSI' s pending nominations, are retained and included in the Finalised Priority Assessment List due in the coming weeks.
- Ask that the Government uphold its pre-election commitment to review the listing process for threatened species, ecological communities and heritage places and all other EPBC implementation issues.
- Please send us copies of any replies that you may receive.