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Governments process over endangered species legislation is wrong



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LEADER OF THE NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA SHADOW MINISTER FOR ENERGY AND RESOURCES MEMBER FOR FARRER

Enquiries Parliament House Canberra, A.C.T. 2600. Phone (06) 277 4058 Fax (06) 277 2052

■ ' ’ 28 October 1992

GOVERNMENT'S PROCESS OVER ENDANGERED SPECIES LEGISLATION IS WRONG

The Endangered Species Legislation was developed within DASET without consulting the industries concerned, and without proper consultation with the other Departments concerned, other affected organisations or indeed our international negotiators for the International Biodiversity Agreement.

"Is it any wonder that both industry and the environment lobby have thrown up their hands in dismay at the Government's process for developing this legislation?" Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources, Tim Fischer MP said today.

The continuing fiasco over the Government's Endangered Species Legislation is an indication of the problems the present Government has with environment policy when they should have clear national objectives, a strategy for achieving the objectives and a ranking of priorities.

But the Government has no overall objectives or strategy for the environment. Instead they respond in an uncoordinated fashion, generally responding to the loudest cries from the 'green fringe' lobby groups.

The Government set up the Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) process. Government, Industry and other groups contributed a great deal of their time, effort and real money to this process in the hope of developing a clear process with clear national objectives and an overall strategy for sustainable development in Australia.

What everyone hoped for out of the ESD process was more certainty.

However, some fringe green groups and their parliamentary lobby branch, the Department of Arts, Sport, the Environment and Territories (DASET), not liking the way the ESD process was proceeding, decided to by-pass the ESD process with the Endangered Species Legislation.

The Coalition has a clear and far superior alternative.

The fracas that has been going on in Cabinet over the Endangered Species Legislation will not occur under a Coalition Government.

The Coalition's Department of Sustainable Development will resolve conflicts between Development and Conservation interests by following policies and procedures laid down by the Government of the day. Decisions will be made on their merits rather than on politically

expedient grounds.

Authorised by Ήιη Fischer MP, Shadow Minister for Resources and Energy and Leader o f the National Party.

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