Audit shows Brumby government needs to get cracking

Monday 8 November, 2008



Almost 40 per cent of the Victorian Government’s 2006 election promises on the environment have been broken or are at risk of not being delivered by 2010, leading environment groups said today.  

An audit released today by Environment Victoria, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), Friends of the Earth (FoE), The Wilderness Society (TWS) and the Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA), assesses the Brumby Government’s progress in meeting the ALP’s 2006 election commitments to the environment.

Mark Wakeham, Environment Victoria’s campaigns director, said findings from Envirowatch: two years in, shows 11 per cent of election promises have been broken while a further 27 per cent were in jeopardy of not being delivered.

“While 62 per cent of the election commitments have been delivered and there has been some good news, like the creation of the Cobboboonee National Park, the Brumby Government needs to get cracking on delivering the rest of its election commitments,” he said.

“Delivering these promises is the bare minimum that the environment needs, as highlighted by last week’s State of the Environment report. Victoria’s environment is on its last legs and desperately needs environmental leadership - this starts with delivering on 2006 election commitments.”

Paul Sinclair, ACF spokesperson said the government’s management of the state’s rivers and water supply had been particularly disappointing.

“With two years left of its term, the government has so far failed to protect our rivers and wetlands. They are also pressing ahead with the environmentally damaging pipeline and desal plant instead of securing our water supply through accelerating efficiency and recycling programs,” he said.

Luke Chamberlain, TWS forest campaigner, said environment groups were also concerned with the government’s failure to immediately protect old growth forests as it had promised.

“The decision to log sections of the magnificent old growth forest walk at Brown Mountain in East Gippsland is a break of the government’s promise to protect the last stands of old growth forests. Two more areas are due to be logged this summer so it’s not too late to save these forests to help protect our land, air and water,” he said.

Matt Ruchel, VNPA executive director, said environment groups were looking forward to the government’s announcement on the River Red Gum national parks and hoped it would endorse the Victorian Environmental Protection Association’s recommendation for 103,000 hectares of new parks.

“However, green groups are concerned that the government may be tinkering with VEAC’s recommendations to allow recreational hunting and shooting within the parks. We strongly urged the government not to allow these activities to take place and to act swiftly and deliver on its promise to protect Red Gum forests,” he said.

The audit also shows the government is failing to make going green a viable option for Victorians and is not delivering reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Cam Walker, FoE campaigns coordinator, said the government had failed to give householders and small businesses who fed solar and other renewable energy into the grid, a fair price for the extra green energy they provided.

“Environment groups strongly urge the government to reconsider their legislation on feed-in tariffs before it enters Parliament and make good on this broken promise,” he said.  

MEDIA CONTACT: Sacha Myers on (03) 9341 8113 / 0417 017 844

The report can be found here.