The Tasmanian Greens and Government have clashed in Parliament over the blocking of nesting hollows for swift parrots on Tasmania's East Coast.
In Question Time, Greens Franklin MHA Dr Rosalie Woodruff asked Environment Minister Roger Jaensch whether the removal of the nesting hollows in six gum trees was a crime under the Threatened Species Protection Act, and if he would step in to remove any legislative loophole.
"Do you accept that blocking hollows to prevent nesting, instead of actively killing the birds when their nesting trees are logged for development, is nonetheless an effective death of the critically endangered swift parrot by a thousand cuts?" she asked.
"Under your dystopian administration, blocking the hollows that critically endangered birds need to breed and survive, is considered a conservation measure."
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Mr Jaensch said the Department of State Growth had done some initial tree treatment works in preparation for proposed upgrades to the Tasman Highway between Basin Creek and St Helens.
"To minimise the risk of possible breeding disturbance, tree hollows have been covered in a small number of trees, based on specialist advice from ecological consultants," Mr Jaensch said.
"I am advised that covering tree hollows is a common pre-construction practice that presents considerable conservation benefits as it reduces the risk of breeding disturbance during later stage to the process."
Mr Jaensch said he was told that no fauna was present in any of the hollows, many of which were considered unsuitable for nesting.
"This is not about preventing swift parrots breeding. It is about getting in before the breeding season, closing off some possible breeding sites that they may have started to build their nests in, and diverting them to other ones, so they can breed away from areas that are going to be disturbed."