We must strengthen, not weaken, environmental protections during drought – or face irreversible loss

Date: 27, Sep, 2018
Author(s):   Woinarski, J., Dickman, C., Kingsford, R., Legge, S.
Publisher: The Conversation

Australian rural communities face hardships during extended drought, and it is generally appropriate that governments then provide special support for affected landholders and communities. However, some politicians and commentators have recently claimed that such circumstances should be addressed by circumventing environmental laws or management – by, for example, reallocating environmental water to grow fodder or opening up conservation reserves for livestock grazing. But subverting or weakening existing protective conservation management practices and policies will exacerbate the impacts of drought on natural environments and biodiversity.