The O’Farrell government has ticked off the modest environment commitments outlined in its 100 Day
Action Plan, but a series of high‐profile decisions have damaged its environmental credibility with the
broader community, according to NSW’s leading conservation groups.
In its first three months in office, the State government introduced an unprecedented roll back of marine sanctuaries in NSW waters; wound back protection for the critically endangered grey nurse shark at Fish Rock and Green Island; and supported legislation for a moratorium on new marine parks and the expansion of sanctuary zones.
The proposed retrospective cut to household payments under the Solar Bonus Scheme was met with
wide‐spread community opposition, forcing a back down and leaving the viability of the state’s solar
industry in limbo.
Nature Conservation Council of NSW, Chief Executive Officer, Pepe Clarke said, “The Coalition’s election
commitment to make environmental protection a core responsibility of government has already been
marred by compromise and political posturing in its first 100 days.
“Our threatened wildlife, native forests, rivers and marine environments are too precious to be
bargained away. The majority of the community care about our natural world and see environmental
action as a top priority for government now and in the future,” he said.
The first term of the new State government provides an ideal opportunity for bold leadership that
addresses the significant environmental challenges facing our state – no strings attached.
Total Environment Centre, Director, Jeff Angel said, “Practical conservation measures, such as financial
assistance to protect crops from flying‐foxes, and a proven willingness to prosecute unlawful habitat
destruction during logging in State forests are positive first steps on the long road ahead.
“An important next step on the path should be building on recent repeal of controversial Part 3A
planning laws by placing environmental safeguards and community consultation at the heart of an open,
transparent planning system. We need natural areas, farmland and water supplies kept safe from
inappropriate development and destructive coal and coal seam gas mining.”
National Parks Association of NSW, Executive Officer, Kevin Evans said, “The state’s leading environment
groups call on Premier O’Farrell and his team to roll up their sleeves and get on with deep reform to
genuinely address the challenges facing our environment in coming years.
“NSW needs leaders that will use the best available science, be creative problem solvers and harness the
goodwill of various stakeholders and the community to deliver strong, lasting environmental outcomes,”
NSW conservation groups supporting this release: Nature Conservation Council of NSW, National Parks Association of NSW, Total Environment Centre, The Wilderness Society NSW, Blue Mountains Conservation Society, Colong Foundation for Wilderness, North Coast Environment Council, South East Region Conservation Alliance and Central West Environment Council.
Photo: NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell. LGSA/Flickr Creative Commons
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