The document is full of praiseworthy but often vague aspirations, but on occasions it does get specific, as in this:
‘Estimate of relative area required to deliver statewide targets [by 2037]:
- 4 million hectares of control of pest herbivores (e.g. deer, rabbits, goats, feral horses) in priority locations.
- 1.5 million hectares of control of pest predators (e.g. foxes, feral cats) in priority locations.
- 1.5 million hectares of weed control in priority locations.
- 200,000 hectares of revegetation in priority areas for connectivity between habitats.
- 200,000 hectares of new permanently protected areas on private land.’
These figures are a standing indictment of neglect on the part of past governments, and of the failure of past Biodiversity strategies. Feral animals like horses and deer, for example, continue to wreak spectacular havoc in the Alps while governments nervously consider targets over the next 20 years; overstressed land managers confess that feral plants are more or less out of control; and the state is proposing to open logging in our vulnerable western forests. Will this document make a difference? We’ll see.