The Victorian Greens have unveiled their ambitious plan for a one billion dollars per year Zero Extinction Fund to help protect and restore the state’s threatened species and their habitat.
A recent Victorian parliamentary inquiry initiated by the Greens found that the state was facing an unprecedented extinction crisis with over 2,000 species under threat.
It also found that one of the main contributors to species decline was severe underfunding of activities like saving threatened species, managing our national parks, and tackling invasive species.
To combat this, the Greens have launched a plan to protect and restore nature in Victoria with an annual, ongoing one billion dollar Zero Extinction Fund.
Initial activities that will be prioritised in the fund include:
- A dedicated Save Our Species program for Victoria.
- Doubling the funding for our national parks management, expanding marine national parks, and supporting Indigenous rangers dedicated to caring for Country.
- A large-scale program to restore private and public land with weeding, invasive species management, fencing waterways, tree planting, and restoring grasslands and wetland.
- Fully funding Trust for Nature’s work to permanently protect and restore habitat on private land with legally binding covenants.
- Restoring urban biodiversity in cities and towns with healthy swimmable rivers, bee and bird corridors and biodiverse urban forests and green spaces.
For years successive Labor and Liberal governments have slashed environmental funding and actively driven destruction of habitat with native forest logging, grassland clearing and by sucking unsustainable levels of water from our rivers.
The Greens’ proposed fund would be an investment of around one per cent of the state’s annual budget. Comparatively, the Victorian Labor Government is spending more than $20 billion on two unnecessary polluting toll roads while they continue to ignore the urgent need to look after our environment.
Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell MP, said in the midst of an extinction crisis it was a political choice for the major parties to continue looking the other way.
As part of the Greens’ election policy, they will also be calling for an immediate end to native forest logging and duck hunting, and reforms to our broken nature laws so they actually protect forests, rivers, grasslands and wildlife from destruction.
Quotes attributable to Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell MP:
“For too long the Labor and Liberal parties have short-changed our environment, and thousands of precious species have become endangered as a result.
“Victoria is facing an extinction crisis and the Labor government can no longer ignore its role in ecosystem decline and pushing plants and animals to the brink.
“A Zero Extinction Fund is urgently needed to protect the environment we all depend on to live healthy lives.
“This is what the Greens will be pushing the next Government in Victoria to deliver.