Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Lisa Neville, today announced a raft of new measures to help secure the long-term survival of Victoria’s endangered Leadbeater’s Possum.
The Labor Government has a proud history of protecting and enhancing the natural environment and is committed to supporting the recovery of our iconic faunal emblem. New measures include:
- Fast-tracking targeted surveys to accelerate the identification of up to 200 new Leadbeater’s possum colonies, ensuring new colonies are identified and protected more quickly than originally planned
- VicForests commencing a program of remote camera surveys to look for Leadbeater’s Possum colonies in targeted areas planned for harvest that will complement existing measures such as the protection of habitat and retention harvesting in forest outside of the reserve system
- Undertaking infrared aerial surveys to identify old trees and map habitat within the Leadbeater’s Possum range, to capture new information that will lead to better forest management planning and regulation
- Involving the community in the protection of colonies, through the purchase and loan of additional survey equipment to complement the surveys in targeted areas planned for harvest
The Government is implementing the recommendations from the independent Leadbeater's Possum Advisory Group and will support the establishment of an Industry Taskforce that will for the first time bring a consensus, best practice approach.
It would involve government, industry and science working together to reach common ground on the issues facing the industry, such as job protection, economic activity and protection of our unique native flora, fauna and threatened species.
These new, immediate measures will ensure the Taskforce’s deliberations are informed by the best available information on the location and extent of the Leadbeater's Possum.
Quotes Attributable to Minister for Environment & Climate Change, Lisa Neville
“We’re protecting our iconic faunal emblem, helping scientists and the community give us the information we need.”
“These new initiatives are already a success, with a number of new colonies recently identified through camera surveys – most recently in a State Forest near Powelltown, east of Melbourne. It confirms there are populations of Leadbeater’s across a wider area than previously thought.
“We‘re working in partnership with councils, local communities, environmental groups and industries to put the care and protection of our environment back on the agenda.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020