The Invasive Species Council today welcomed the launch of the Stop Invasive Species Alliance, a coalition of 17 national and state environment groups of which ISC is a founding member.
ISC president Steve Mathews said the launch of the Stop Invasive Species Alliance was the best possible way to commemorate International Day for Biological Diversity (May 22), which this year focuses on invasive species.
“The launch of the alliance recognises that invasive species are among the top threats to the Australian environment, but receive far too little attention,” Mr Mathews said.
“Invasive species have already caused many extinctions and are likely to cause many more, particularly under climate change, unless there are more sensible regulations and more control of invasive species in important conservation areas.
“It is remarkable that the premier environmental legislation in Australia to protect biodiversity – the federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 – does little to protect the environment from established and emerging invasive species that impact on threatened species and ecosystems.
“Anyone can plant a paddock or garden with any number of highly invasive weeds with no restrictions or assessments and no responsibility when weeds spread.
“Numerous gardens around the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area represent a biodiversity time bomb, with all sorts of potential invaders in gardens. We should be eradicating them now before they get away.
“Christmas Island represents the future unless we do more – it is currently undergoing an ecological meltdown mostly because of invasive ants, centipedes, snakes, and rats. Numerous species have been lost or are on their way to extinction.
“We need more government leadership, more sensible regulation, more education and more funding for strategic control efforts. SISA will strengthen the community voice calling for change.”