Date:  14 June 2016

Labor has a proud and solid record of environmental achievement.

It was Labor that initiated the protection of the Great Barrier Reef during the Whitlam Government. It was the Hawke and Keating Governments that protected the Franklin, Kakadu and the Daintree as well as Antarctica. It was Labor that ended 30 years of conflict over Tasmania’s forests and 120 years of disagreement over the Murray Darling Basin.

Today Labor continues this proud record on environmental protection.

A Shorten Labor Government will support the re-establishment of Environmental Defenders Offices (EDOs), so they can continue to ensure that Australian environmental laws are complied with by corporations and governments.

Labor believes that EDOs play a vital role in environmental protection by providing access to justice for individuals and groups who could not otherwise afford to take on large companies whose proposed actions may have adverse environmental impacts on those individuals and communities.

In the first 100 days of forming government, a Shorten Labor Government will convene an expert reference group to work in partnership with industry and environmental groups to develop the detail of the new environment laws.

A Shorten Labor Government will improve environmental protection and streamline the environmental approval process by:

  • Re-establishing the Federal Government’s responsibility for protection of matters of national environmental significance.
  • Retaining Federal Government powers of approval under federal laws.
  • Streamlining assessment processes with States and Territory Governments to remove unnecessary duplication.
  • Developing new frameworks for truly national protection and management of Australia’s natural environment.
  • Exploring options for an independent environment protection structure.
  • Reinstating the principles of democracy, respect and protection of rights for civil society involvement in environmental matters, including funding for Environment Defenders Offices (EDOs), a commitment $10.8 million over four years.

In stark contrast, Abbott-Turnbull Government have shown over the last three years in office that they have no regard for our precious environment or those who stand up to protect it.

In the last three years in office, the Abbott-Turnbull Government have defunded the Environmental Defenders Offices, condemned environmental NGOs and community groups as vandals, threatened the EPBC Act, gagged UNESCO and continually attempted to pass the buck on environmental protection to State and local Governments.

Labor will take a proud and solid record of environmental achievements to this election.

Only a Labor Government can be trusted to protect our beautiful and diverse environment while also supporting sustainable and job creating investment.

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© Mark Butler. Authorised by Mark Butler 21 Commercial Road, Port Adelaide SA 5015