Victorian Liberals tear up environmental credentials

The Baillieu Liberal opposition have broken decades of bipartisan support for nature conservation in opposing a Bill to create new red gum national parks debated in parliament last night.

MEDIA RELEASE

12 November 2009
Friends of the Earth Melbourne

BAILLIEU LIBERALS TEAR UP ENVIRONMENTAL CREDENTIALS

The Baillieu Liberal opposition have broken decades of bipartisan support for nature conservation in opposing a Bill to create new red gum national parks debated in parliament last night.

The Parks and Crown Land Legislation Amendment (River Red Gums) Bill (2009) seeks to implement the recommendations of a three year independent investigation by the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC). In opposing the Bill, the Baillieu Liberal opposition have severed almost 40 years of unbroken tradition in supporting recommendations by VEAC and its predecessors.

"Twelve months out from an election, the Liberal Party has suddenly lurched to the right, adopting the extreme anti-environment policies of the Nationals."

"We are completely astounded by the Liberal Party's rejection of established conservation policy. It leaves their environmental reputation in a very shabby state indeed."

"Liberal Party environment policy is to log the world's largest red gum wetland, to destroy the Kakadu of the South with chainsaws. It makes no sense."

"Thousands of waterbirds descend on these wetlands every year from as far away as Siberia. But the Liberals will offer them no refuge."

"It will now be up to the Greens to ensure this historic Bill passes through parliament."

The Bolte Liberal government created VEAC’s predecessor, the Land Conservation Council in 1971 and have never before opposed the creation of national parks as a result of their recommendations.

Interviews: Jonathan La Nauze 0402 904 251