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Christmas Island situation critical

A report into biodiversity on Christmas Island outlines the perilous state of the unique ecosystem, say the Australian Greens.

"The Christmas Island Biodiversity Monitoring Program report, just released as a result of a question on notice from the Greens, makes for very sobering reading about the true state of things on the island," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Land & Water Australia 2

RURAL AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS AND TRANSPORT

Senator SIEWERT-I will start with the question that I asked earlier and that is: how many projects, as
opposed to programs-I am aware of the programs you run-do Land and Water have running at the moment, either on its own or in partnership with other research organisations or industry groups?

Dr Robinson-Currently on our books we about 120 research projects, and we have given in-principle commitment to another 26.

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Land & Water Australia

RURAL AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS AND TRANSPORT

Senator SIEWERT-I have some specific questions around Land and Water Australia. I will obviously have some questions for the agency itself, but Land and Water Australia is engaged in a lot of projects in a number of partnerships. In fact, it is one of the best organisations for developing partnerships.

Senator COLBECK-Absolutely.

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Greens blast move to shut down Land and Water Australia

The Australian Greens today condemned moves by the Rudd Government to shut down the Land and Water Australia (LWA) rural research and development corporation, saying it was more evidence that they were "totally clueless" on natural resource management and sustainable agriculture.

"Land and Water Australia are one of the very few sources of funding for essential research into tackling some of Australia's biggest environmental problems and engaging farmers in managing the health of our soil, water and remnant native vegetation," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

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Christmas Island Pipistrelle Bat facing extinction

The Australian Greens today called on the Government to urgently invest in research to save the pipistrelle microbat, found only on Christmas Island, which is facing imminent extinction.

"It is terrible that things have been allowed to get to this state. The fragile and unique ecosystem that exists on Christmas Island needs to be protected," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Matters of Public Interest - Fitzgerald River National Park & Whaling

There are two issues I wish to cover today in talking about matters of public interest. One of these issues came to the fore during the summer break, and that was whaling. The other, which is also very close to my heart, was the Western Australian government proposal last week to put a road through the heart of the Fitzgerald River National Park. The road would go from Bremer Bay through to Hopetoun. The Premier proposed this in response to BHP closing its laterite nickel mine in Ravensthorpe.

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Fitzgerald River park road 'environmental vandalism' - Greens

The Australian Greens today condemned the proposal by the Barnett Government to build a road through the Fitzgerald River National Park in WA, saying the plan is "environmental vandalism".

The Greens will push the Rudd Government to ensure that no Federal infrastructure funds are spent on this project.

"The Fitzgerald River National Park is one of the most biodiverse areas in Western Australia, identified as one of the world's biodiversity hotspots," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.
"These biodiversity and wilderness values will be threatened by this road."

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Greens start Senate Inquiry into Tiwi Islands

The environmental and economic impact of forestry and mining in the Tiwi Islands will be scrutinised under a Senate Inquiry set up by the Australian Greens today.

"The Tiwi Islands, 80km north of Darwin, have significant biodiversity values, with eucalypt forests and tropical savannas existing alongside rainforest," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

"These forested areas in the Tiwi Islands are now the subject of a major clear-felling and wood chipping project approved by the Howard government in 2001, resulting in deforestation of an estimated 30,000 hectares."

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