Today’s State budget does not make the crucial water and energy infrastructure investments needed to substantially decrease greenhouse gas emissions and move towards an economy powered by clean, green energy, according to the state’s peak environment group.
“This budget was disappointingly light on green initiatives,” Nature Conservation Council of NSW executive director Cate Faehrmann said today.
“The Rees Government seems to have swept environmental action to the side in its attempt to look like they can still generate jobs and restore the budget surplus.
“There’s never been a more important time to lock in measures that can create green jobs and protect our environment now and in the future.
“The Rees Government’s ‘business as usual’ approach to energy and water infrastructure does not go far enough in reducing the more than 151 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions produced in NSW each year and averting catastrophic climate change.
“Fast-tracking renewable energy, including solar, wind, geothermal and tidal sources, can deliver the deep cut in carbon pollution needed to protect our environment while growing our economy and generating thousands of green jobs.
“NSW will reap greater benefits from investing in the infrastructure needed for the renewable energy economy such as a gross solar feed-in tariff, rather than propping up carbon-intensive power generators and funding unproven technologies such as carbon storage and capture.
“We’re disappointed the Government still believes desalination and new dams are an effective approach to securing our water supply despite their considerable detrimental impact on local communities and the environment. Rainwater tanks, recycling and water savings are greener options for delivering healthy water sources for our cities and towns.
“NSW cannot afford ill-advised water and energy infrastructure investments that damage the environment and hold back the transition towards a green economy,” Ms Faehrmann said.