The Victorian Auditor General’s Office has released an audit report revealing that the Andrews Labor Government has failed to protect Victoria’s critically endangered native grasslands.
Native grasslands are critical to Victoria’s ecosystem as they store carbon, improve water infiltration, reduce soil erosion and provide habitats to animals. In 2008 and 2009 the Australian government recognised Natural Temperate Grasslands and Grassy Eucalypt Woodlands as critically endangered.
In 2010 the Melbourne Strategic Assessment required that two grassland reserves be established by 2020 to offset native vegetation loss due to the extension of the Urban Growth Boundary in order to protect these critically endangered species.
Labor have only acquired 10 per cent of the land supposed to be set aside for the Western Grassland Reserve and no land at all for the Grassy Eucalypt Woodland Reserve.
The Government’s failure to acquire land for these two critically important reserves beyond the timeframe agreed ten years ago means that not only will taxpayers be forced to pay more to establish these moving forward, this critical part of our ecosystem is severely threatened.
Labor has shown a complete disregard for the ecological value of native vegetation within the proposed reserves, and has failed Victoria’s environment.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Bridget Vallence:
“This independent audit report reveals that Lily D’Ambrosio and Daniel Andrews have failed Victoria’s environment.”
“The Andrews Government has failed to meet its obligation to protect critically endangered native grasslands.
“The Andrews Government’s inaction leaves Victoria’s critically endangered native grasslands vulnerable, and risks this important part of our ecosystem being damaged forever.”