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O’Farrell to Freeze Action on Environment

July 13, 2011

Environmentalists should brace themselves for a period of inactivity in state politics, I warned the GreenCollar Think Tank last night. A couple of hundred members of the think tank a group promoting discussion on environmental and climate change issues, met in the Shelbourne Hotel in Sydney.

I reminded the group that since the election of the O’Farrell government the Department of Environment and Climate Change has been abolished as a stand-alone agency, and a moratorium has been placed on creation of more marine national parks. Protection of fish species has been abolished and hunting in state forests approved. In April the Premier handed responsibility for marine parks and catchment management to the Department of Primary Industry. The Environment Minster has refused to rule out lifting the bans on broad scale land clearing.

Conservatives do not have to be hostile to environmental policy. “It’s easy to imagine a conservative government would in fact promote market-based initiatives in environmental policy.”

Yet I reminded them that in 1988 when the Greiner government took office, the National Party was given veto power over any land use policies outside Sydney. That was also a period of inactivity on environmental achievement,

“History is repeating itself. And climate change will be a crucial test.”

“I am proud that as Premier I was able to introduce the world’s first carbon trading scheme, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Scheme. Moreover our controls on broadacre land clearing enabled Australia to reach its Kyoto targets.

“Our BASIX standards for new house building were the most advanced in Australia and among the most advanced in the world. They mandated that all new housing have built-in energy conservation.”

“One key test for O’Farrell’s government will be whether these measures remain intact. Sadly, controls on land clearing look the most likely to go.”

2 Comments
  1. July 13, 2011 6:43 pm

    How much compensation was paid to farmers after the controls on broadacre land clearing were enacted?

  2. Richie Gun permalink
    July 13, 2011 9:08 pm

    So Barry O’Farrell has actually got something right – on marine parks. The marine environment is under threat from global warming and industrial run-off, but marine parks address neither problem. Where over-fishing threatens the sustainability of a species, the problem is easily overcome by minimum length of catches and by bag limits, which are administered well by fisheries departments. Unfortunately fisheries officers have been sidelined by the green ideologues who gravitate to the environment and conservation bureaucracies. In SA the minister has been captured by the looney greens in his department. It is good to hear that O’Farrell has put them back in their place and put a moratorium on creating more marine parks..

    Richie Gun

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