Comprehensive report tackles ecological decline in Victoria

2 December 2021 Read the final report

Victoria’s ecosystem is facing major threats from noxious weeds and invasive species, climate change and habitat loss and fragmentation, a Legislative Council Committee inquiry has found.

The Environment and Planning Committee has made a total of 74 recommendations to address the range of problems associated with Victoria’s declining ecosystem in its report tabled in the Legislative Council.

'We have listened to the perspectives of many Victorians, including scientists, First Peoples, environmentalists, farmers and many more to inform our conclusions,' said Committee Chair Sonja Terpstra.

The 746-page report covers two volumes and contains 54 findings after the Committee received 950 submissions and held 16 days of hearings.

'Despite the size and scope of this Committee’s report there is still a great deal more work to be done to address the environmental challenges facing our state,' said Ms Terpstra.

'We have recommended the government think about referring a parliamentary inquiry into the health of rivers, and the marine environment.'

The report recommends the government review the legislative framework for managing invasive species to consider the economic impact of introduced pests, to review early intervention measures, and to ensure the legislation’s focus is on preserving biodiversity values.

It recommends the Victorian government phase out the use of 1080 bait to control invasive species, implement a more consistent and effective approach to cat management and trial the reintroduction of dingoes as an apex predator.

The report finds that climate change is already driving ecosystem decline across Victoria with devastating consequences for flora and fauna.

It recommends the government and research partners conduct further analysis to improve localised climate projections for both agricultural and biodiversity values.

The report also makes recommendations around the protection of threatened species, improving land management, improving governance and improving monitoring, compliance and enforcement.

The full report and recommendations are published on the Committee’s website.