There are 1,043 species and 115 ecological communities that are listed as threatened in New South Wales under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, including 78 species declared extinct. These numbers continue to rise, and the 2019–20 bushfires exacerbated this. Under the Act, the Department of Planning and Environment is responsible for implementing a biodiversity conservation program that maximises the security of threatened species and ecological communities, and minimises the impacts of key threatening processes. The Department has been delivering this program, ‘Saving Our Species’, since 2016 with a commitment to its delivery until 2026. The Act requires that the program includes a framework for setting priorities, a process for monitoring outcomes, and that it is reviewed and reported on.
A performance audit on this topic could assess whether the Department has effective mechanisms for the management and continuous improvement of its threatened species programs, primarily including but not limited to Saving Our Species.