I agree with the National’s Kris Beavis that ‘nothing is more important than protecting our environment’, though he needs to realise that it is not just about recycling waste while he trashes the environment. The National Party’s record speaks for itself.
In June 2012 the Nationals voted to allow recreational shooting in all national parks and nature reserves (outside World Heritage) on the north coast at the discretion of the environment minister.
In September 2012 the Nationals stopped north coast councils from including environmental protection zones in their Local Environmental Plans, supposedly for six months while a review was undertaken.
Because the review supported environmental zones, two and a half years later we are still waiting to see if the Nationals will allow north coast councils to protect rainforest, old-growth forest, endangered ecological communities, core koala habitat and other high conservation value lands. Don’t count on it.
In March 2013 the Nationals allowed shore-based fishing in Cape Byron Marine Park’s sanctuary zones. Again this was supposedly for only six months while a review was undertaken, yet it took them until last Christmas to act, and after causing significant damage they only restored protection to 58 per cent of our sanctuaries.
In July 2013 the north coast Nationals claimed credit for changing the law to allow trees from native forests to be burnt to generate electricity, which has the potential to be disastrous for forests throughout NSW.
Then there is the Nationals’ refusal to intervene to stop koala habitat from being cleared for development at West Byron and for the highway south of Ballina, while near Casino they refused to stop ongoing logging of core koala habitat on public land.
The Nationals are an environmental disaster. I fear what they have planned for us after the election. If you agree with Kris that ‘nothing is more important than protecting our environment’ then put the Nationals last when you vote.
Dailan Pugh, Byron Bay
All NSW Election 2015 Articles
More NSW Election 2015 news and articles
The results are in for the final seat in the NSW upper house, and just about everyone is breathing a sigh of relief. Here’s why.
Jens Krause, Byron Bay. The Nationals candidate for Ballina received 355 primary votes out of 1,333 counted at the Bangalow polling booth. That is 27 per cent or roughly one quarter. The heartland of the rail trail lobby is Bangalow.
Greens NSW MP John Kaye. Premier Mike Baird's decision to move TAFE out of Education and into the Industry portfolio will be the last straw for TAFE as a public education institution.
Land values across the NSW north coast and elsewhere will be hit hard if the coal-seam gas (CSG) industry is allowed to develop, a new Productivity Commission report has warned.
Jan Barham, MLC. The re-elected coalition government must adopt a more caring and strategic approach with a priority focus on housing and community services for areas of high vulnerability and disadvantage such as the north coast.