Greens: New Minister Must Commit to Act on Environmental Issues (Australia)

New Minister Must Commit to Act on Environmental Issues

The Australian Greens today welcomed Mark Butler’s appointment to the environment portfolio, calling on him to commit to acting on key environment issues where Labor has been all talk and no action in the past.

“Labor has been all talk and no action on protecting national parks from logging, mining and grazing and on protecting the Great Barrier Reef from being used as a dumping ground for dredge spoil by the big mining companies,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.

Two years ago Labor said it would protect national parks federally and, despite state premiers threatening our national parks with logging, grazing and shooting, we’ve seen no action.

“Last week, with no time left to change the law before the election, Labor supported my Senate motion to put an end to sediment dumping in the Great Barrier Reef. The sudden change of heart came after Labor had approved 17.5 million cubic metres of sediment being dumped in this World Heritage Area.

“Minister Butler needs to decide whether he will side with the big mining companies over the Great Barrier Reef and the 54 000 jobs it provides, and whether he’ll cave into the state premiers rather than protecting our national parks.

“The Greens are standing up for the environment with a policy of federal protection for national parks and no new dredging or dumping in the Great Barrier Reef,” Senator Waters said.

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Press Release, July 1, 2013

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