Morrison Slammed After Apparently Referring To Eco Bill Which Doesn’t Exist

Prime Minister Scott Morrison appears to have deflected criticism of the Federal Government‘s response to a landmark report on wildlife extinction by pointing to recent legislation – which doesn’t seem to exist.

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The Guardian reports that in response to questions about the UN‘s recent statement that one in four species on Earth will be at risk of extinction unless humanity takes drastic action, Morrison yesterday told reporters “we already introduced and passed legislation through the Senate actually dealing with that very issue in the last week of the parliament.

“We’ve been taking action on that.”

However, The Wilderness Society‘s federal policy director Tim Beshara told PEDESTRIAN.TV no legislation passed in the final sitting week of the last parliament actually addressed the matter.

“I worked in and around politics for a number of years now, including for a Liberal environment minister,” Beshara said.

“I know how to look at what bills have passed and which bills have lapsed… there was nothing, full stop, this year that has anything to do with endangered species.”

Beshara said Morrison offered his statement in the hopes journalists “would move on from talking about the doomsday UN environment report, because I don’t think the Prime Minister wants to be talking about the environment right now.”

Discussing the mooted government response to the fate of Australia’s Bramble Cay Melomys, which this year became the first mammal species declared extinct due to climate change, Beshara said “a government that is willing to do that is not one that is likely to step up to a broader challenge of dealing with broad-scale extinctions”. 

The Guardian reports that in response to further questioning about the matter this afternoon, Morrison said he was referring to a different piece of legislation which covered protections for animals used in cosmetic testing – but he did not outright admit he was mistaken, saying there was also a budget measure the same week which included funds for environmental restoration.

But in a statement provided to PEDESTRIAN.TV, the Greens‘ spokesperson for environment and biodiversity Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said “Scott Morrison has been caught out trying to mask the Government’s inaction on the extinction crisis.

“The legislation he claims addressed the serious warnings outlined in the UN’s biodiversity report this week does not exist.”

“Voters deserve better than a Prime Minister who lies about his Government’s environmental credentials in the midst of global crises on climate change and biodiversity loss,” she added.

In response to the Prime Minister’s apparent deflection, Shadow Environment Minister Tony Burke tweeted “we have a Prime Minister who doesn’t care, with an Environment Minister who can’t be found, referring to legislation that doesn’t exist.

“Status of Govt Environment Policy: extinct.”