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June 13, 2024

It’s World Environment Day!

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Sue Higginson MLC says in Australia, World Environment Day should be a time for mourning and reflection. Photo Tree Faerie.

World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated annually on 5 June and encourages awareness and action for the protection of the environment. Greens MP and spokesperson for the environment Sue Higginson, says it is a day for mourning and reflection on how poorly we are tracking on the Government’s promises, the accelerating decline of the natural world and our emissions reduction ambition.

Ms Higginson says native forest logging, land clearing, ineffective biodiversity laws, inappropriate development in ecologically sensitive areas and failing emissions reduction target trajectories have remained unchanged in NSW despite the Minns Labor Government being in power for over a year. ‘The lack of meaningful action to address the environmental crisis in NSW has undermined the confidence of the community in the Government and must be corrected if that confidence is to be restored.

Still logging in Great Koala National Park

‘More than a year since Premier Minns promised a Great Koala National Park, there is still intensive logging underway in critical koala habitat inside the proposed National Park.

‘More species have been added to or moved up the threatened species list and the Ken Henry Review into the Biodiversity Conservation Act remains unresponded to, despite damning recommendations that the law was facilitating the significant destruction of nature, rather than preventing it.

‘The Local Land Services review into native vegetation clearing is also gathering dust on a shelf while land clearing and habitat destruction has continued unabated at a pace consistent with how the Nationals and Liberals left it at the start of 2023.’

Is it local councils’ responsibility?

Ms Higginson says rather than addressing historical development approvals in sensitive coastal environments, the Labor Government has thrown their responsibilities in the face of local councils and blamed communities for not being planning experts.

‘We just learnt that we are not on track to meet even our unambitious emissions reductions targets of 50 per cent reduction on 2005 emissions levels by 2030. Rather than announce an increased effort, the Government announced that it will extend the life of our oldest, dirtiest coal fired power plant. We know that makes achieving even our weak targets even harder.’ 

‘At every turn, the Minns Labor Government is either ignoring the genuine environmental emergency that we are in, or otherwise driving the crisis even deeper while pitting communities against each other in a cynical political game where we all lose.’

‘Our message to Premier Minns, and his Government, is that time is running out on the environment, when you fail to deliver on the environment, you fail everyone and that is the definition of political failure.’

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