- Protect our land and water from mining.
- Honesty and integrity in politics
- Local jobs
- People before profits
- Improved heath and education services.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Nature Conservation Council of NSW reports on state government

O’Farrell Government is ‘failing the grade’ on environmental protection and sustainability

 Reblogged from the Nature Conservation Council of NSW site

The state’s leading environmental organisations will today release a mid-term report card on the O’Farrell Government’s performance on environmental protection and sustainability.

The report card, which is based on a comprehensive review of the government’s statewide environmental performance over the past two years, has found that the NSW Government is “failing the grade” on environmental protection and sustainability.

The review assessed the government’s performance across ten key policy areas, from climate change to urban sustainability. The government received a total score of 33% (E), with grades ranging from 10% (F) for marine conservation to 60% (C) for pollution and waste (see attached).  
“The government’s performance over the past two years had been characterised by inaction, broken promises and backward steps on important environmental issues”, said Pepe Clarke, Chief Executive Officer of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.

“The government’s positive nature conservation achievements, such as declaration of Dharawal National Park, have been overshadowed by a succession of environmentally damaging policy decisions, from attacks on marine sanctuaries to hunting in national parks,” he said.

“The government’s decision to allow recreational shooters into national parks will place the public at risk and divert resources from effective pest control programs,” said Kevin Evans, Executive Director of the National Parks Association of NSW.

“Tens of thousands of ordinary people from across NSW have spoken out against this outrageous decision, and will not rest until this irresponsible plan is abandoned.”

Rapid expansion of mining and coal seam gas has featured prominently on the public agenda over the past two years, but the NSW government’s policy responses have left many community concerns largely unresolved, particularly in rural and regional areas.

“The government has comprehensively failed to deliver on its promise to protect critical agricultural and environmental assets, leaving productive farmland, water resources and iconic natural areas at risk,” said Bev Smiles, spokeperson for the Central West Environment Council.

The Hillgrove Mine poised above the Macleay River valley
While flooding rains have provided a reprieve for rivers and wetlands, the government has placed their long-term health at risk by reducing environmental water allocations and opposing federal water buybacks in the Murray-Darling Basin.

“The O’Farrell Government has taken every opportunity to obstruct and delay measures to restore the Murray-Darling to health, compromising the recovery of wetlands, water birds and freshwater fish,” said Belinda Fairbrother, NSW Campaign Manager for the Wilderness Society.

Many conservationists are concerned that more damaging changes are on the way, with the government reviewing environmental protections in the planning system, land clearing laws and forestry regulations.

“There is a real risk that decades of hard-won environmental protections will be lost unless ordinary people stand up now for the protection of our state’s precious natural environment,” said Susie Russell, President of the North Coast Environment Council President.

Conservationists are calling on Premier O’Farrell to adopt policies that will protect and restore the state’s environment and build a more sustainable society.

“The pressing environmental issues facing our state require leadership and decisive action,” said Jeff Angel, Executive Director of the Total Environment Centre.

“It’s time for the Premier to step up to the challenge, for the benefit of the people of New South Wales, and the remarkable natural assets of our state,” said Mr Angel.

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