Labor platform almost ignores invasive species

Labor leader Bill Shorten outlined his vision for the party's future direction at its national conference in July, but amid all the debate the party nearly emerged from the conference completely overlooking one of the biggest threats to Australia's environment - invasive species. Photo: Takver

Labor leader Bill Shorten outlined his vision for the party’s future direction at its national conference in July, but amid all the debate the party almost overlooked one of the biggest threats to Australia’s environment – invasive species. Photo: Takver

One of the biggest threats to Australia’s environment, invasive species, was almost overlooked in Labor’s national platform. Only a late intervention at its July national conference ensured that improving environmental biosecurity is now part of the platform.

The Australian Labor Party’s national platform sets the broad policy direction for the next four years and will underpin its pre-election commitments.   While the 2011 platform included five references to invasive species or environment biosecurity, the 2015 draft had none. The only reference to biosecurity referred to its public health and economic benefits. In the environmental chapter, there was no reference to invasive species. This omission is even more surprising given a Labor-led Senate inquiry just two months earlier found serious deficiencies in environmental biosecurity.

We raised the omission with Labor shadow environment and agriculture ministers, backbenchers and senators, and found ready agreement to rectify it. Labor delegates unanimously supported a new paragraph highlighting the problem of invasive species into the environmental chapter. But, strangely, an amendment to add the environment as a beneficiary of the biosecurity system (along with public health and the economy) wasn’t accepted.

The paragraph that now forms part of Labor’s national platform reads:

Labor will improve Australia’s preparedness to prevent and combat new invasive species that threaten the environment and work with state and territory governments to develop new tools and biological controls to reduce the impact of established pests and diseases.

More info

Related posts

Rally for Kosci
The view out over Stanwell Park in NSW. Feral deer have been destroying local bushland. Photo: David McKelvey | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Feral deer destroying a lifetime of bushcare conservation
Imported roses and their many petals provide great hiding spots for invasive pests.
The ugly side of flowers
Sally Wayte, a Bushcare volunteer with the Friends of Knocklofty in Hobart, helps clear out gorse from bushland in Knocklofty Reserve. Photo: John Sampson Sally Wayte
More than just pulling weeds: the essential role we all play in biosecurity
Yellow crazy ants – Queensland comes to the party
Kirsha Kaechele has created an intriguing, challening and thought-provoking book about how we deal with invasive species. Photo: Mona Rémi Chauvin, Courtesy Mona Museum of Old and New Art
Eat the problem
Feral pigs caught in a trap in Victoria's far northwest.
Closing the gate on feral pigs in Victoria’s remote northwest
Red-whiskered bulbuls are a serious pest bird that damage fruit crops, spread weeds and compete with native bird species. Photo: Creepanta | CC BY-SA 4.0
Managing new pests in South Australia – what’s new?
NSW audit calls for improved biosecurity responses
Extinction, it's worse than you think

One Response to “Labor platform almost ignores invasive species”

  1. Labor have typical knee jerk reactions that end badly. Do you really think they can do anything good in this area. All talk is what I am hearing..