Act for Birds - Perth Community Forum
The Perth forum began on an auspicious note as a large flock of Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos flew over the assembled bird and nature lovers at the WA Ecology Centre in Bold Park. The event was held on 9 April, 2019, and attended by over 50 people, including BirdLife staff, BirdLife WA members and some new to ‘the flock”.
Like Brisbane, the folks in Western Australia are a politically charged bunch; over half the attendees had met with or written to their local MP about bird and nature conservation issues. Fiona passed the microphone around, and it was inspiring to hear from the floor.
Conservation Campaigner Andrew Hunter gave a compelling presentation on our nature laws and how they are failing to protect our birds. Fiona Blandford, in her new Community Organiser role, described how the power of story motivates us to move from apathy to action, from fear to courage.
A fitting introduction for the local hero of the evening: conservationist Rosemary Jasper, from Ravenshorpe. Rosemary was very kind to share with us her story, written in a wonderfully lyrical style, and very moving indeed.
Rosemary describes the extensive salmon gum woodlands of Cocanarup - these groves of old growth trees are “like entering a grand building”, and the Noongar people consider that the spirits of their ancestors reside within these trees. Due to their age, they are filled with hollows - and monitoring has revealed that up to 60 pairs of Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos breed in Cocanarup in any one year.
And yet, the area is threatened by lithium mining. Rosemary describes the moment when her campaigning began in earnest. “I was horrified that the inadequacy of either the laws or the administration of them that would allow this… there was no choice but to fight for this area”. Rosemary and her team of friends and family have been monitoring the Carnaby’s, and doggedly campaigning for the rights for a threatened bird species in a threatened plant community actions - both of which deserve to be protected by stronger nature laws!
Now that the election has been called, it is time to make your voice heard!
Email your MP here, or speak to or tweet your election candidates, and ask them about their party’s commitment to fix our broken nature laws, and why this is so important to you.
Thank you to Birdlife WA staff and volunteers for help at the forum, and for hosting the Act for Birds campaign team at Peregrine House.
Rosemary Jasper and Fiona Blandford.