Friday, September 12, 2014

Western Australia - now we wait!

Yes yesterday was cause for celebration.

To those who have started with the chest thumping I say, not so fast!
Yesterday's decision by the EPA is great, and it is also great that the WA Government has stated that they will abide by it.
However on the EPA website, I read this.
The EPA’s report to the Minister for Environment is now open for a two-week public appeal period. Appeals close September 25, 2014 and can be made at 

Appeals are administered independently of the EPA by the Appeals Convenor and determined by the Minister for Environment. This proposal is also being assessed under a bilateral agreement with the Commonwealth. This means both State and Federal Ministers for the Environment will make a decision under their respective legislations. Both Ministers will need to give approval for the proposal to proceed.
The Fat Lady hasn't sung quite yet, so let's wait and see how things play out.
The State may still retract its current position and still make a last-ditch attempt at turning things around - in which case the ball would be in the court of the Federal Environment Minister. Hunt has been quite adamant about wanting to do things by the book - but this is the Abbott government that has completely lost the plot (and here!) when it comes to conservation, so there's definitely an element of risk there.
But having said that, I'm actually quite optimistic.

And then, there is this.
You really got to read the exhaustive EPA decision.
You will find that it is based principally on the peer review by CSIRO (three documents here) and that in essence, the EPA is simply applying the precautionary principle in view of the uncertainty about the effects of the cull on the South-Western population of GWS. Only - not the Bulls, not the Tigers where EPA considers that the proposal presents a low risk to the viability of populations for other target sharks and non-target marine fauna.
You may also want to note that the other arguments against the cull have been noted, addressed and essentially dismissed - and that the only aspect the EPA has assessed is the environmental impact, not public safety or ethics or the like.
Just sayin'.

Now, we wait.

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