The Australian Greens will move amendments in the Lower House today to stop the Abbott Government from ripping up threatened species protection.
“The Abbott Government wants to remove the community’s right to take the government to court if it ignores expert advice on threatened species impacts when approving major developments, like massive mines and coal ports,” Adam Bandt, Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens, said.
“And to try and get away with sacrificing our wildlife for the big mining companies, they’ve put this change in the same bill as tougher penalties for dugong and turtle poaching.
“The Greens are moving to split the bill and, with Labor’s support, Parliament can block this weakening of threatened species protection and pass the increased dugong and turtle poaching penalties.
“It’s hypocritical for the Abbott Government to talk up action against dugong and turtle poaching, while moving in the same bill to gut protection for every nationally threatened species from major developments.
“The Abbott Government’s change risks all of our threatened species, including the Tassie Devil, which faces an onslaught of mining proposals, and the Leadbeater’s Possum, which is under threat from logging,” Mr Bandt said.
Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson said:
“Tony Abbott’s agenda of environmental destruction doesn’t stop there. The Abbott Government is set to handover federal responsibility for approving or rejecting major development proposals to state governments.
“If the Abbott Government gets its way, not only could expert advice on threatened species be ignored in development approvals, but those approvals would be carried out by state governments.
“Premiers Newman and O’Farrell have already signed up to Tony Abbott’s one-stop shop, which would give them sole control over the Great Barrier Reef and the Blue Mountains.
“Now Mr Abbott is trying to round up other states ahead of COAG on Friday.
“The Greens will stand against Tony Abbott’s plan to devolve national environment law at every opportunity and are moving an amendment to this effect to the government’s bill today.
“Federal Labor claims to now agree that responsibility for Australia’s most precious places and wildlife must stay with the federal Environment Minister.
“Today they can demonstrate that commitment by voting with the Greens to stop such a handover, and by ensuring their state Labor colleagues loudly reject Tony Abbott’s one-stop shop at COAG on Friday,” Senator Waters said.