ENVIRONMENT minister Simon Corbell has ridiculed his opposite number, Liberal environment spokesperson Nicole Lawder, for suggesting a native bird was an exotic pest that should be “managed or eradicated” by the government.Ms Lawder wrote to Mr Corbell in December asking him to explain the government’s plan to deal with the common koel, a native bird that migrates to Canberra for the summer months, but was rarely seen in Canberra before the 1980s, according to the minister.
Today Mr Corbell confirmed the ACT Government had no plans to manage or eradicate the common koel, which as a native is protected under the ACT Nature Conservation Act 1980.
“What other species of native bird would Ms Lawder like to eradicate next? Mr Corbell asked in jest. “Possibly the Black Cockatoo or the Gang Gang?”“I am shocked that the person who wants to be the environment minister would want to eradicate a native species,” he added.
“Is this the type of practical, direct action on the environment that Ms Lawder will be advocating for on behalf of the Liberal opposition?
“Even if her knowledge of native Australian species is limited, I would have expected, as Liberal environment spokesperson, that Ms Lawder would at least check to see if the bird species in question was native or imported before requesting its eradication.”