Today’s budget missed an opportunity to invest in infrastructure to create a sustainable economy for future generations, the state’s peak environment group said today.
“It's time we factored environmental costs into state budgets. It might be fine to spend billions on new infrastructure, but if environmental impacts like carbon emissions and biodiversity loss are ignored, the costs to future generations will be enormous,” Cate Faehrmann, executive director of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW said today.
“We are disappointed the budget did not include any climate change initiatives that will turn around the state’s soaring greenhouse gas emissions.
”The NSW Government is talking up its spending on infrastructure, but we need to see where it has factored in the environmental footprint of these infrastructure projects, including any associated greenhouse emissions.
“Many clean energy technologies aren't receiving the support they need to operate at a meaningful scale where they can actually make a dent in greenhouse emissions. This budget once again failed to make a real difference in supporting renewable energy.
“With petrol prices almost certain to increase further, the government should be making a massive investment now for increased dependency on public transport.
”Overall, this budget will increase greenhouse gas emissions in NSW. Unchecked mineral exploration will increase the state’s carbon footprint at a time when we should be doing everything we can to reduce it.
“Sydney’s population is predicted to increase, so we need investment in water infrastructure, like recycling and rainwater tanks, to ensure that Sydney’s water supply is sustainable and reliable in the long term. Expensive, environmentally damaging and unnecessary projects like Sydney’s desalination plant and the Tillegra Dam in the Hunter should be dropped,” Ms Faehrmann said.