The remarkable biodiversity of Western Australia and the sheer size of our State make conserving our threatened species a very important, but very challenging task. Since I last reported on this area in 2009, the size of the task has increased, with the number of species listed as threatened up 12%, and those possibly threatened up 29%.
The passage of new legislation in 2016 was an important milestone. It provides opportunities for the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) to work in new and different ways. However, taking advantage of this legislation, while managing a growing task with constrained resources, makes it critical to prioritise conservation activities and know if they are working.
In that context, my 2009 recommendations to improve how the Department uses its information to prioritise and evaluate its conservation efforts are more relevant than ever. But progress has been disappointing and DBCA still has considerable work to do to put both the information, and the systems to use it, in place.
I have made further recommendations that reflect the ongoing need for change. Without it, DBCA will continue to struggle to show Parliament and the public that scarce resources are being effectively targeted to conserve our world renowned biodiversity.