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No sense of direction in environment budget

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Member for Pearce Shadow Minister for the Environment


Budget outlays on the environment fit the pattern of the whole document--a little bit here, a little bit there but no overall sense of direction.

It will do little or nothing to ease widespread concern about the abuse and politicisation of environmental policy by the Hawke government.

The key problem facing Australia is the lack of a decision­ making process trusted by those with either, or both, environmental and industry interests.

In its place we have production of millions of words and many inquiries, such as the Ecologically Sustainable Development process.

We can only hope that the -November Special Premiers' Conference might provide the direction and hope for real progress that is so sadly lacking in this Budget.

While I welcome additional funding in areas such as the endangered species programme and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority the approach is essentially piecemeal.

One announcement— compensation for the proposed World Heritage listing of Fraser Island and the Great Sandy Region— deserves to be treated with the utmost scepticism.

Mrs Kelly asks to be taken on trust that this exercise will avoid becoming a repeat of the fiasco surrounding compensation intended for the town of Ravenshoe after World Heritage listing of the Queensland Wet Tropics. That ravaged community is sad evidence of the fact that we can attach little credibility to the Minister's bland assertion that the government is committed to ensuring people affected by the

listing are not disadvantaged.

Canberra Contact: Keith Kessell

20 August 1991 (06) 277 4760

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