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DEPI and Parks Victoria declare a secret war on the Southern Brown Bandicoot

The recent strategy of these organisations for the management of the Southern Brown Bandicoot is based on 99% of bias and negativity. It is a declaration of war against this species. Their barbaric program is full of hypocrisy as well as hiding the real evidence in order to bolster their arguments. Their proposals are too opaque and misleading and often quite ridiculous, simply all in order to save money!

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) and Parks Victoria propose to monitor Southern Brown Bandicoots in the Pines for the next ten years while they, at the same time, suggest that they have become extinct there. (This amounts to funding window dressing.)

They propose to monitor for many years how the $20 million worth of underpasses work for the absent Southern Brown Bandicoots. (A waste of public money)

They carry out re-vegetation activities especially suitable for the Southern Brown Bandicoots but don’t want them in the Pines. (Hypocritical)

They propose to conduct regulars fox and cat control programs in the Pines for the protection of this species knowing very well that Southern Brown Bandicoots are not there anymore.(Already costing well over $ 100,000.00. (Failed every time because of presence of dogs)

They refuse to install a predator-proof fence around the Pines which is the only realistic way to protect the Southern Brown Bandicoots in the Pines once re-introduced. (The DEPI and Parks Victoria just want that money, not the responsibility.)

They refuse to tell the real truth why the Southern Brown Bandicoots were lost in the first place in the Pines. (Parks Victoria’s total mismanagement and neglect)

They make it sound unnecessarily difficult about the re-introduction of SBB’s into the Pines. (Scaremongers)

They now want to spend the money specifically provided for the fence in a biodiversity damage-mitigation undertaking with EastLink in an area where they have, in their last strategy, severely undermined the safety of this species by axing connective corridors. (They will spend it elsewhere.)

They now depend entirely on fox control to protect this species in the Sub-Regions of Koo Wee Rup which they insisted did not work for the protection of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot. (What has changed?)

They have deliberately misinformed the politicians, hence the wrong decisions were made. (Common practice)

They play unfair politics with both these critically and nationally endangered bandicoot species, both close cousins of the much loved Bilby. (Cannot say what I am thinking on paper)

They really HAVE declared war on them both.

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Editor: We have republished this comment as an illustrated article, here: "South Eastern Red-tailed cockatoo under threat from burning for fuel reduction"

The South Eastern Red-tailed cockatoo is under increased threat from Victorian government fire "management" plans. A large part of its critical habitat will be burnt.

This famous cockatoo was represented in the 2006 Commonwealth Games, as our mascot. Even this celebrity status isn't enough to protect it from having the "carpet" of it's thin survival chances wrecked by our State government. The Mallee will be burnt, to reduce fuel. This "fuel" is considered a fire threat, and the fact that it produces food and shelter for the South Eastern Red-tailed cockatoo is neither here nor there! The State government must, no matter how destructive and reckless, be seen to be "doing" something to protect lives (human) and property from bushfires. The collateral damage must be ignored, and any recovery strategies are just poured down the drain in the process.

The planned burns will destroy parts of the habitats of the cockatoos, and only about 1500 exist.

This year the 2014 South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo Annual Count will be held on Saturday 3rd May. Birdlife Australia are again seeking volunteers to participate in the range wide search for one of the region’s most loved, local endangered species – 'The South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo'!

Birdlife Australia Red tailed Black Cockatoo count

Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos prefer long unburnt (10 years post fire) stringybark woodlands for feeding which have on average twice the seed availability as stringybark woodland burnt more recently. Clearance of remaining Buloke critical habitat is a major continuing threat to the Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo as large numbers of Buloke trees are being removed each year, and offset plantings of Buloke will not become suitable cockatoo foraging habitat for at least 100 years. Agriculture, human settlements close to natural vegetation, population growth, pressure for governments to mitigate fire threats, and land clearing are all growing and bulldozing native birds and animals from their existence.

Our so-called "Environment" minister has caved into property developers, and will allow urban expansion onto the wildlife corridors of bandicoots in the south eastern fringe of Melbourne, Cranbourne area. Mr Greg Hunt has excused himself from a decision on protection for an endangered bandicoot from new housing on Melbourne's south-eastern fringe because he is the local member and has a history with the issue.

Read more: Hunt takes a step back on bandicoot at http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/hunt-takes-a-step-back-on-bandicoot-20140409-36dj1.html

Mr Hunt also failed, as an Environment Minister, by approving a port project that allows the dumping of millions of tonnes of dredge spoil sludge in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Great white sharks are listed as "vulnerable" under Australia's environment laws, and are protected under the international Convention for Migratory Species.  With a nod, Greg Hunt make their status null and void ,  for "swimmer safety". 

Under a deal with the Commonwealth that allows Melbourne to expand, the Victorian government had to prepare conservation plans to offset the loss of rare grasslands and endangered species habitat in urban growth corridors. Somehow, habitat "offsets" are meant to compensate for the concreting and bulldozing of bandicoots' territory! They are to shove-off, and our urban growth boundary will continue to be sterilized by housing, roads and more concrete.

Why do we have the pretence of an "environment" Minister when all they do is tick the boxes for property developers, giant corporations, and negate the status of protected endangered species?

Don't strand the Bandicoot": Petition

Don't strand the bandicoot - put the corridors back! at https://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/the-hon-greg-hunt-mp-federal-minister-for-the-environment-don-t-strand-the-bandicoot-put-the-corridors-back

Ahchh! We are over-run with faux-environment ministers and fast losing our wildlife.

To replace Minister Hunt with his weight in bandicoots would be a net gain for the nation.

Yes that's what our political landscape and environment requires- Bandicoot Replacement Therapy

Senator Simon Birmingham Federal Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment,

We, in the Australian Wildlife Protection Council Inc, write to request that you ensure that Sub Regional Species Strategy for the Southern Brown Bandicoot, which we understand you are about to approve, be strengthened.

There are, at present, no commitments in the revised Sub Regional Species Strategy for the Southern Brown Bandicoot.

Approval by you must fix the absence of

- specifications on the quality of the wildlife corridors,
- sufficient width and security in the four specified corridors within the UBG from the RBGC to the boundary,
- security of tenure for land for wildlife corridors and for the management especially outside the UGB,
- evidence of sufficient funds from the levy and transparent costings to achieve the incentives and on-ground actions for substantial land use change and restoration of natural functioning wildlife corridor(s)
- planning controls to require (the negotiated) land use changes

Under the current plan, presented by the Victorian Government, including the recent amendment, there is no reasonable expectation that there can be a sustainable population of bandicoots in the Southeast of Melbourne. Yet this is what the Commonwealth and the State of Victoria signed an agreement to achieve in the Program report of the Strategic Assessment.

This is a once in generation opportunity to get the planning right for people and nature.

Thank you Senator

Signed by Maryland Wilson, President, Australian Wildlife Protection Council