Federal environmental approvals powers must not be handed to the Tasmanian Government- a Government with no environmental bono fides

Today’s release for public comment of the draft approvals bilateral agreement between the Australian and Tasmanian governments raises deep concerns over the Hodgman Government’s hostile attitude towards the environment and those who care about it, says Environment Tasmania, the State’s peak community conservation group.

“The Hodgman Government’s environmental policy so far is ‘lock up those who love nature, and open the door to greedy corrupt development by silencing the community’. This Government cannot be trusted to look after matters of national environmental significance” says Charlie Sherwin, Environment Tasmania CEO.

 

Today’s release for public comment of the draft approvals bilateral agreement between the Australian and Tasmanian governments raises deep concerns over the Hodgman Government’s hostile attitude towards the environment and those who care about it, says Environment Tasmania, the State’s peak community conservation group.

“The Hodgman Government’s environmental policy so far is ‘lock up those who love nature, and open the door to greedy corrupt development by silencing the community’. This Government cannot be trusted to look after matters of national environmental significance” says Charlie Sherwin, Environment Tasmania CEO.

“You cannot rip up the Tasmanian Forest Agreement, open World Heritage areas to development without proper consultation and enter Government with almost no environmental policy, then expect to be handed the role of looking after national environmental interests.

“Federal approvals powers must not be handed to this or any other State government: their track record of decision-making under pressure from developers and fat cats is too poor. Only the national Government can hope to maintain sufficient distance and perspective to make sound approvals decisions on matters of national environmental significance.

“Australia was embarrassed at the World Heritage Committee and is the shame of the world at global climate negotiations. To hand this country’s environmental approvals powers to ill-equipped States, especially those hostile to protection of the environment, would firmly cement Australia’s reputation as a global environmental pariah. This is against our national interests.

“The Australian Government has a global responsibility to protect the environment, and handing approvals powers to the Hodgman Government would breach those responsibilities, breach trust with Australians, and smear this country’s global reputation.

Today, Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Tasmanian Environment Minister Matthew Groom released a draft approvals bilateral agreement under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act for public comment.

For comment:
Charlie Sherwin
Chief Executive Officer
0431 004702