Government Senators' dissenting report
Government Senators' comments
Government Senators consider the premise of this inquiry to be
essentially baseless and motivated by political considerations. The Abbott
Government is not 'attacking the environment'; following the disaster of the
carbon tax, green loans and home insulation programs under the previous
government, the Abbott Government is not only repairing environmental policy
but embarking on the most significant practical environmental reform program in
Australia's history. This is exemplified in UNESCO's draft decision that the
Great Barrier Reef be removed from the path to an in-danger listing.
Another key example of the Government's commitment to the environment is
the Emissions Reduction Fund, which in its first reverse auction purchased 47
million tonnes of CO2-equivalent abatement, almost four times as much as that
achieved under the previous government’s carbon tax.
The Australian Government is investing more than $2 billion to manage
natural resources and enable communities to undertake practical action to
improve the environment, including the conservation of biodiversity. This
investment includes the National Landcare Programme along with complementary
initiatives such as the Green Army, Working on Country and the Reef Trust.
The Government's redesigned Landcare programme returns decision-making
back to local communities, enables commitment to long-term projects, and
provides for a simpler and more effective reporting and application process.
The Government's Green Army program does not replace Landcare funding.
Rather it is complementary to Landcare projects by providing groups with
additional manpower to undertake local action on the ground, with the
additional benefit of providing young Australians with practical skills and
While the committee acknowledges 'financial constraints' faced by the
Government, it fails to acknowledge their extent or the urgent need for
significant Budget savings measures to be implemented as soon as possible. In
this context, the Government cannot and will not restore funding to
Environmental Defenders Offices (EDOs).
The discontinuation of funding for EDOs does not reflect an adverse
judgement on the merits of EDOs or their work, rather it reflects the broader
context of stringent resource constraints.
1.8 That the committee commends the Government for undertaking
massive investment in environmental programs in an unprecedented environment of
Ruston Senator James
Deputy Chair Senator
Navigation: Previous Page | Contents | Next Page