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Community input invited for inquiry into ecosystem decline in Victoria

The Legislative Council Environment and Planning Committee has commenced an inquiry into ecosystem decline in Victoria that will look at measures to restore habitats and populations of threatened and endangered species. The submission closing date is Friday, 31 July 2020. Consider pointing out the impact of human population growth and infrastructure expansion.

The Committee is inviting community input to the inquiry, with terms of reference that include:

· the extent of the decline of Victoria’s biodiversity and the likely impact on people and ecosystems
· the adequacy of the legislative framework protecting Victoria’s environment and ecosystems, particularly in the context of climate change impacts
· the adequacy and effectiveness of government programs
· opportunities to restore the environment while upholding First Peoples’ connection to country.

“We want to hear from people with expertise in these issues, but we also want to ensure that community members with direct knowledge of ecosystem decline in their local areas can contribute their views and suggestions to us,” Committee Chair Cesar Melhem said.

“It’s important that we hear from communities across Victoria so that the Committee gets a complete picture of what’s happening to the state’s diverse ecosystems and what actions are needed to restore those under threat or in decline,” Mr Melhem said.

Ecosystem decline can include catchment salinity, vegetation decline, weed proliferation, invasion of pest animals and stream decline.

Submissions to the inquiry are welcome until 31 July 2020. Details on how to make a submission are available from the Committee’s website. “At a time when we are focusing on the health of our population, we think it’s also timely to look into the health of our ecosystems and the diverse species that populate our rich environment,” Mr Melhem said.

Issued: 6 May 2020