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Unity on national land clearing controls vital: Federal Government must over-ride recalcitrant states.

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Senator Andrew Bartlett Senator for Queensland Australian Democrats spokesperson for Environment

Press Release Dated: 1 Mar 2001 Press Release Number: 01/124 Portfolio: Environment Related: Forestry and Conservation

UNITY ON NATIONAL LAND CLEARING CONTROLS VITAL: Federal Government must over-ride recalcitrant States The Australian Democrats have welcomed calls by the Australian Conservation Foundation for the introduction of Commonwealth land-clearing laws.

“Australia’s appalling record on land clearing must now be addressed in the national interest- with strengthened national environment laws,” said Senator Andrew Bartlett, the Democrats’ environed spokesperson.

“The Democrats negotiated tough new national environment laws in the form of the EPBC Act and we’re prepared to negotiate further to give the Commonwealth the tools it needs to bring recalcitrant States into line,” said Senator Bartlett

“The Commonwealth Government can step in if the actions of one State adversely or unfairly impact on another. If land clearing and overuse of water in QLD and NSW is going to make Adelaide’s water undrinkable within 20 years, then surely the Commonwealth has a duty to act.

“There must be a cap on land clearing and a trigger in the EPBC Act that gives the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment the power to intervene. The Democrats would favourably consider using unallocated Natural Heritage Trust monies to assist farming communities with the implementation of clearing controls,” he said.

“Present and past practices have been a disaster for our rivers, our catchments and increasing salinity and the crisis now extends across State borders.

Clearly, the Commonwealth has the power to intervene and the release of the Parliament’s Report of the Inquiry into Catchment Management further

reinforces the need for the Commonwealth to act. Concluded Bartlett

Senator Bartlett also said he was very disappointed by The Green Party’s attempts to split the environment movement by attacking the Democrats in the Ryan by-election.

“It is appalling that The Green Party are attacking the parliamentary party with the best environment record and policy,” he said.

“The Democrats have achieved tangible outcomes in environmental protection in law.

“You would think The Green Party would target the Coalition, Labor or One Nation who are dragging the chain. Instead they are trying to get a short term electoral advantage by targeting the Democrats, the greenest party in the federal parliament.

“Stone throwing in the green ‘house’ just leaves the other parties free to pursue destructive environmental policies,” he concluded.


Top | Email | Tell us what you think Authorised by: Jim Downey, 10 Brisbane Avenue, Barton ACT 2604. Copyright © 2001 Australian Democrats Last modified: Thu, 18 May 2000 13:51:26 Today: Tue, 06 Mar 2001 09:38:22