The Australian Greens today called on the Government to take immediate action to ensure the protection of biodiversity hotspots in Australia.
A new report from the Worldwide Fund for Nature has warned that Australian native animals are protected in just ten per cent of the country's land area. The key concern raised by this report is that the biodiversity hotspots already identified are still the least protected, whilst 72 per cent of Australia's threatened species continue to decline.
"Senate Estimates recently revealed that $6 Million set aside for purchasing land to protect biodiversity hotspots has not been spent and will be handed back to Treasury," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.
"This money was meant to be used to buy high conservation-value properties in Australia's biodiversity 'hotspots' areas where there is a great concentration of unique wildlife."
"I cannot believe that the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts couldn't spend this money when there are so many opportunities to buy back some stunning private and leasehold land. The Department simply didn't look hard enough," she said.
"Environment Minister Garrett needs to investigate why the Department failed to spend their allocated budget, and ensure that future generations do not miss out on our amazing biodiversity."
"The former Government failed to spend this money, and we are now hearing about the outcomes of such failure," she concluded.