Biodiversity & Conservation

A diversity hotspot

"The world is currently undergoing a very rapid loss of biodiversity comparable with the great mass extinction events that have previously occurred only five or six times in the Earth's history." - WWF

Western Australia is home to some of the richest, and most unique, biodiversity on earth due to the State’s size, which spans across a vast range of geographical, soil and climatic conditions.

The South-West of WA is internationally recognised as a biodiversity hotspot and is one of only five Mediterranean systems to be recognised globally, the only one of its kind in Australia.

The Kwongan heathlands, stretching intermittently from Shark Bay down to Esperance, contain a vast diversity of more than 8000 plant species, half of which are found nowhere else on earth.

The South West is also home to many endemic, and endangered, species of fauna including the honey possum, numbat and Gilbert’s potoroo, which  have lost large swathes of habitat due to land clearing for wheat production and logging of old growth forests.

In the north of WA more marine biodiversity has been documented than anywhere else on earth, yet WA’s entire coastline is threatened by onshore and offshore development projects and overfishing along with ocean acidification problems already arising from climate change.

Protecting biodiversity is about more than protecting our natural environment and the many unique species of flora and fauna that we have. Biodiversity provides essential services that we take for granted.

Things like clean drinking water, fertile soils and unpolluted air are all intrinsically linked to the same ecosystem that we are a part of.

A loss of biodiversity, which sadly has been occurring State-wide for generations, can drastically upset this balance and have serious flow-on effects.

Conservation has a much greater cultural reach that many fail to recognise in favour of short-term economic benefits. Western Australia is a beautiful place and the generational benefits that would come from protecting its unique biodiversity are immeasurable.

The priorities for conservation in Western Australia mainly concern attitudes; broad, bipartisan recognition of the need to protect biodiversity and genuine action to do so.

The current legislation that controls WA's biodiversity is 60 years old and comprehensively out of date.

Lynn's Biodiversity Legislation (Priority Reforms) Bill was introduced into Parliament in 2014 to provide improved protection for the State's unique flora and fauna.

 

Biodiversity & Conservation

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Goals

  • The maintenance and protection of Western Australia’s unique natural environment
  • To restore and extend the current natural habitats of all native flora and fauna, especially those species at risk
  • To slow down and stop Australia’s unacceptable rate of extinction
  • Raise awareness about Western Australia’s unique biodiversity hot spots eg Mowen Forest, Kwongan
  • To strengthen regulation around native logging, land clearing, invasive mining and state development
  • To improve the legitimacy of regulatory bodies and advocate for them to provide adequate protection to Western Australia’s native flora and fauna, as is their mandate

Campaigns

Authorised by Lynn MacLaren © 2017

Hon Lynn MacLaren MLC - Member for South Metropolitan Region Legislative Council, Parliament of Western Australia