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Labor releases a raft of policies to protect the environment of NSW

Media Release

Labor has unveiled a raft of targeted environmental policies that will protect and enhance the state’s natural environment and repair the damage caused after eight years of neglect by the Liberals and Nationals.

In addition to a 50 per cent Renewable Energy Target by 2030, Labor will seek to ensure the state’s threatened natural parks and waterways are safeguarded for the future.

“The last eight years have been catastrophic for the natural environment in NSW under the Liberals and Nationals. We’ve seen them fail to act on climate change and fail to stop the devastating fish kills in the Murray-Darling river system,” Natasha Phillips-Mason Labor Candidate for Manly said.

“Conservation and protecting our natural environment is core Labor business. We want to make sure that we leave a healthier, cleaner natural environment to our kids and grandkids.”

Under the new policy package, Labor will:

  • Protect and support our national parks– including expanding Tomaree National Park in Port Stephens, creating a new koala national park in south-west Sydney, protecting Kosciuszko National Park, and nominating the Royal National Park for World Heritage listing.
  • Protect our land, our wildlife, our trees, and our soil– including remaking the biodiversity laws to bring land clearing under control and protect koala habitat, investing $50 million in Labor’s war on weeds and pests, and doubling the funding to Landcare groups.
  • Deliver cleaner air– including adopting higher standards to limit pollution from larger particles like dust, improving air quality monitoring near coal fired power stations, and delivering the 10-year ‘Clean Air’ strategy that the current government has failed to finalise.
  • Improve the health of NSW waterways– including Labor’s plan to save the Barwon-Darling river system, and restoring the Streamwatch program cut by the current state government.
  • Protect and enhance our urban environment– including planting 6 million trees by 2030, creating a first-ever inventory of environmental assets in Sydney, and ensuring that planning laws take environmental assets into account when planning decisions are made.

Labor also recommitted to opposing nuclear power in NSW and repealing the Liberals and Nationals’ anti-protest laws.

Deputy Labor Leader and Shadow Minister for the Environment, Penny Sharpe, said: “We know how important the environment is to the community, and we have listened to individuals and organisations around the state calling for the destruction to stop. We hear you and we are with you.

“The Liberals and Nationals have trashed the state’s environment, whether you look at the decline of our iconic koalas, the devastation along the Darling River, the increases in land clearing and deforestation, or the neglect of our national parks.

“There will be more announcements to come before the election, but today’s package cements our strong commitment that a Daley Labor Government will be the dedicated custodian of the environment that our wildlife, our trees, our land and water sorely need.”

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  1. Andreas Bimba

    The ALP must be in federal government for at least the next 10 years which will be the decisive decade if humanity is to avoid catastrophic climate change. The ALP must revise its current emission reduction targets to be in accordance with the global effort to not exceed 1.5 deg C long term global warming and the unavoidable fact that high per capita emission emitting developed countries must make faster emission cuts than the global average. The former IPCC 2 deg C global warming limit is simply too environmentally and socially destructive and cannot be used as the basis for determining needed emission reductions.

    [In order to not exceed the long term 1.5 deg C global warming limit] “global CO2 emissions are cut by around 45% by 2030 [from 2010 levels] and to net-zero by 2050”

    “These changes are even more stark for the electricity sector, which is “virtually full[y] decarbonised…around mid-century”. This means that by 2050, coal use in the power sector falls to “close to 0” and renewables supply 70-85% of the electricity mix.”

    “However, even achieving 1.5C “will result in the further loss of 90% of reef-building corals compared to today”, the report warns.”

    In-depth Q&A: The IPCC’s special report on climate change at 1.5C

    “The assessment shows that between 80 and 90 percent of coal reserves worldwide will need to remain in the ground, if climate targets are to be reached,” UNEP writes, along with “approximately 35 percent for oil reserves and 50 percent for gas reserves.”

  2. New England Cocky

    It is time to put the Lairbrals and Notional$ out to pasture in the wilds of Manus and Nauru to sample “the exotic tropical holiday destination”.

  3. andy56

    andreas, once we get to 30% renewables and the coal stations start to shut down, we will rapidly spring to higher % renewables. We are still in this crazy holding phase the libs have put us under. I think things will get much worse before most governments will act. The past few years have been hot and a few more will mean the 1.5 or even 2 figures will be meaningless. I have hopes, but i am counting on the worst.
    Its effing daft how the libs and deniers have stated that we only produce 1.5% of co2 emissions so we have no effect. Add the 2% “our” exported coal produces and suddenly, we are producing more than a statistical anomaly. My taxes are minimal so if i dont pay, nobody should be concerned. Try that in court against the ATO. Its the height of arrogance and stupidity or they are getting paid.

  4. andy56

    As another point that nobody is discussing, the governments call on climate change policy. They are claiming to be on target for the 26% reduction, or what ever they claim. I call them out for being disingenuous. Those targets are a MINIMUM to avoid 1.5 -2 degrees of warming. When scientists are calling for zero emissions by 2050, its on the assumption we make steady progress. By meeting the bare minimum, we are in effect doing NOTHING. A true policy would be aiming for zero in 2050 OR ASAP.

    But then nothing surprises me anymore. The Libs have delivered a litany of disasters at our expense. NBN, Climate useless policies, super mess policies ( although both sides can take credit ), Murray Darling free for all, abysmal look over there refugee policies , lack of parliamentary propriety by ministers who have no reason to accept responsibility and the list goes on. They need a good refresh on the sidelines

  5. Andreas Bimba

    So true Andy56. The next 10 years really are critical not just here but globally.

    The measures presented in this article to protect the natural environment in NSW are very worthy. Environmental scientists need to be listened to again and their genuine concerns addressed after being generally ignored by the LNP as we are losing so much at a faster pace than ever before.

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