Fol­low­ing the money

The Saturday Paper - - Letters & Editorial -

The loom­ing spate of na­tive wildlife ex­tinc­tions Mike Sec­combe warns of could be a handy earner for a fed­eral gov­ern­ment with a fo­cus on com­mer­cial gain (“Droughts and flood­ing rains”, Oc­to­ber 27–Novem­ber 2). Tas­ma­nia man­aged to col­lect more than $50 mil­lion in fed­eral funds over 12 years to erad­i­cate a fox in­va­sion that was never proved to ex­ist, and sub­sidises pub­lic for­est log­ging by more than $40 mil­lion a year. Even the en­dan­gered Tas­ma­nian devil seems to have been drafted into the ser­vice of busi­ness, with the state gov­ern­ment spurn­ing the pleas of sci­en­tists to rein­tro­duce cap­tive-bred and dis­ease-free an­i­mals to the main­land, pre­fer­ring to sell close to 100 to over­seas zoos while re­turn­ing any sur­plus an­i­mals to the devil’s death row in the Tas­ma­nian wild. The Mor­ri­son gov­ern­ment seems locked into fun­nelling huge sums to emol­lient PR such as the Great Bar­rier Reef Foun­da­tion or drought “safe­guards” rather than off­shore tax havens.

– John Hay­ward, Wee­gena, Tas

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