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Senate rejects government attempt to cheat on natural heritage trust

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Senator Meg Lees

Australian Democrats Deputy Leader and Environment Spokesperson


CHEAT ON NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST THE Australian Democrats have welcomed the Senate's rejection of Government plans to stretch the Natural Heritage Trust over six years - a move which would have left less cash for the environment and been a clear breach of an election promise.

"The Government's attempt to swindle the Australian public has failed," Democrats Environment Spokesperson Senator Meg Lees said.

"The Government made a clear pre-election pledge to spend $1.15 billion over five years on the environment, over and above Labor's forward estimates," she said.

"To stretch the fund over six years, as announced in the Budget, with no additional funding for the sixth year, would have further cut environment spending."

The Democrats joined the ALP, Greens and Independents in rejecting the Government amendment.

"We now understand why the Government has continually delayed bringing this legislation on: it was to allow for the Budget announcement," Senator Lees said.

"This action borders on contempt of the Senate processes and the Senate has rightly rejected this dubious Government action.

"I am happy the Government has not been rewarded for its contemptible tactics."

To arrange comment contact Kelly Westell on (06) 277 3765.

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