Garrett uses environment laws to protect endangered cassowary
Humane Society International (HSI) congratulates Environment Minister Peter Garrett on his decision to protect the survival of the endangered southern cassowary by rejecting a residential development proposal near Mission Beach in far north Queensland.
A decision on the development’s approval under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999 required consideration of its impact on the endangered species and its habitat. Much of the former habitat of the cassowary has already been lost to land clearing and development, and Mr Garrett determined that the proposed site was of immense importance as a movement corridor for the species between the adjoining Wet Tropics and Queensland World Heritage Area and the nearby coastal cassowary habitat.
“This is a clear case of the EPBC Act being used as it was originally intended,” said Nicola Beynon, HSI’s Senior Program Manager. “All too often endangered species and habitats are the poor relation to development proposals. We are hopeful that Mr Garrett’s decision, signals a shift under a federal Labor Government to use the powers of the EPBC Act as intended; to protect endangered species from ongoing decline.”
HSI is looking forward to working with the government to strengthen the EPBC Act further as foreshadowed in the Government’s pre-election commitments.