Australian Greens Senator for NSW, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, has announced the Greens Environment Plan for New South Wales. The centrepiece of the Greens environment policy this election is a new Nature Fund, which would invest $2bn a year across the country to protect Australian flora and fauna and fund the development of recovery plans for at-risk species. The fund will also pay for qualified “environment managers”, and boost the number of Indigenous rangers. The plan is funded through a carbon price and making big polluters pay.
In New South Wales, the plan consists of:
- $8.9m for conservation of koalas including habitat restoration, support for community based programs and research.
- $17m a year to go to local councils through the Local Greening Program
- $6.8m a year from additional Landcare funding
- $2m a year to NSW Nature Conservation Council
- More Indigenous rangers – boosting the number of NSW rangers to 240
- Funding for the Environmental Defenders Office
Senator Faruqi said:
“Nature has intrinsic value, it is not just a commodity to be used and abused. As an environmental engineer, I know we need bold and evidence based plans to start reversing the decline of our precious ecosystems.
“The NSW and Federal Liberal-National Governments have declared war on our environment and we are reaching a point of no return.
“Our plan represents the biggest investment in environmental conservation in Australia’s history. It will begin to turn the tide of ecocide which sadly has become the norm in New South Wales.
“With overdevelopment, climate change and increasing land clearing in New South Wales, our environment is under threat like never before. Corporations are free to rip up, pollute and bulldoze our precious environment. We need bold action to protect our environment.
“We are rapidly hurtling towards a future in New South Wales where our next generations will not see a koala in the bush or in a national park and perhaps not even in a zoo. Koalas are on track to be extinct in New South Wales by 2050 if we continue our current path. This is an absolute tragedy.
“The Greens are drawing a line in the sand to stop our precious threatened species from slipping away,” she concluded.