An alliance of 63 conservation organisations representing more than 230,000 Australians has called on all parties contesting the NSW State election to take the bold, urgent action needed for a better future for the environment.
The next term of government is critical for the future of the environment in NSW. We are at a crossroads where strong political leadership is necessary to solve significant environmental challenges and transform NSW into the prosperous, healthy state we all deserve to live in.
An alliance of 63 conservation organisations representing more than 230,000 Australians calls on all parties contesting the State election to take the bold, urgent action needed for a better future for the environment.
The next State government must have a long-term vision and plan for overcoming the significant threats facing our natural areas and communities including rising carbon pollution, the impacts of coal and coal seam gas mining, inappropriate development, land clearing, illegal and unsustainable logging, overfishing and urban sprawl.
With less than two weeks until NSW votes, we need the major parties to detail comprehensive and effective environmental policy solutions, not more token gestures or green spin. We do not endorse any political party or candidate: we want strong leadership to ensure our natural environment is protected and restored.
Nature Conservation Council of NSW CEO Pepe Clarke said, “In the final weeks of the election campaign, it is deeply disappointing that neither major party has announced any credible action plan to drastically cut carbon emissions and move towards a clean energy economy in NSW.”
“The era of polluting, fossil fuels is over. Our focus must now turn towards grasping the opportunities provided by renewable energy for cutting pollution, growing jobs and industry, and developing a clean energy economy,” he said.
The Wilderness Society, NSW Campaign Manager Belinda Fairbrother said, “In recent times, a truly alarming picture has emerged of the dangerous impact of coal and coal seam gas mining on our environment, productive farmland, water supplies and the health of our communities.
“A groundswell of people across the state is demanding our political leaders put communities and nature first. If mining companies don’t know or can’t prove their operations won’t harm the environment, existing industry or human health then they should not go ahead.
“We’re voting in a government to protect our communities, not the vested interests of a few,” she said.
National Parks Association of NSW Executive Officer Kevin Evans said, “Our unique environment underpins the social and economic fabric of this state. Healthy ecosystems provide billions of dollars of goods and services essential for the wellbeing of local communities and businesses.
“A safe, healthy and sustainable future can only be achieved if we conserve the natural places and ecosystems that provide us with clean air and water and other benefits. This is equally important for aquatic environments as it is on land. Marine parks help conserve marine life, while allowing the community to continue enjoying their much-loved beaches and oceans,” he said.
Total Environment Centre Executive Director Jeff Angel said, “The extent of environmental degradation and the task of restoration that lies before us in Sydney, as well as in other urban areas, is immense and we need to set ambitious targets.
“Sydney can turn around years of neglect and lead the way on green building design, public transport and constraining urban sprawl. The way our city evolves and grows will have a huge impact on cutting carbon pollution, reducing energy demand, decreasing traffic congestion and improving our wellbeing,”
The alliance of 63 conservation organisations calls on all parties contesting the 2011 NSW State Election to:
1. Cut the NSW contribution to climate change and act on opportunities to slash greenhouse pollution.
2. Invest in the benefits of nature and build ecological resilience by protecting conservation corridors across the state.
3. Move out of native forest logging into sustainable plantations and rule out burning our native forests
4. Secure and restore long-term health to the rivers, wetlands and catchments of NSW.
5. Expand marine sanctuaries in poorly protected bioregions and manage fisheries to ensure sustainable fish stocks.
6. Control pests and weeds to protect the rural environment and the economy.
7. Stop mining and gas expansion until an environmental strategy is developed with full community and scientific input.
8. Restore balance, integrity and legitimacy to the NSW planning and development process.
9. Reduce pollution and waste through strong targets and best practice systems.
10. Make our urban areas liveable and sustainable by increasing energy and water savings, and expanding active and public transport amenities.
Full list of conservation groups in pdf below.
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