Western ground parrot needs millions spent on it, but volunteers say Coalition is trying to shift costs to not-for-profits
Mon 18 Jun 2018 23.19 BSTFirst published on Mon 18 Jun 2018 19.00 BST
The Turnbull government helped broker a $200,000 agreement for a German not-for-profit to fund conservation work for a critically endangered Australian parrot, bolstering criticism it is shifting the cost of protecting threatened species to community and philanthropic organisations.
The western ground parrot is one of only three ground nesting parrots found in Australia and is one of 20 birds the government has committed to helping as part of its threatened species strategy.
But the parrot is receiving just $80,000 in species-specific funding from the federal government through its threatened species recovery fund to construct new facilities for “a captive breeding trial at Perth zoo”.
The environment department says additional money to support the birds is coming from a $1.7m feral cat baiting program in WA and an agreement it “brokered” with a German parrot association for $200,000 for a western ground parrot project.
The Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots, a Berlin-based not for profit, agreed to provide the funds in 2017 for work by the WA Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions to increase feral animal control, “monitor existing populations and enhance captive breeding methods”, an environment and energy spokeswoman said.
Conservation groups say the international donation is an example of the government increasingly trying to move the cost of threatened species work onto volunteers and charities and at a time when it has been trying to stop not-for-profits from accepting overseas donations for political advocacy work.