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Brown utterly wrong, again: Democrats will not support RFA legislation, will enhance Commonwealth environment powers.

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Senator Andrew Bartlett

Australian Democrats

Spokesperson on the Environment


June 23, 1999


Brown utterly wrong, again

Democrats will not support RFA legislation,

will enhance commonwealth environment powers


The Australian Democrats today reiterated their outright opposition to the Federal Government’s regional forest agreements plan, following misleading claims by Senator Bob Brown that the party was set to support the Government’s legislation.


The RFA is an appalling piece of legislation and the Democrats are bitterly opposed to it - end of story,” Senator Bartlett said.


Senator Bartlett hit out at Senator Bob Brown for his ‘mischievous’ and misleading statements on the revamped Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Bill


“Senator Brown would serve the environment much better if he actually did some work in Senate environment committees and drafting amendments rather than strolling the carpet of the Canberra press gallery deliberately spreading misinformation,” Senator Bartlett said.


“These are the facts. The Democrats have resisted and will continue to resist the introduction of the RFA bill into the Senate. It is an utterly unacceptable bill.”


Senator Bartlett reiterated that the Democrats changes to the Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Bill have enhanced the powers of the Commonwealth environment minister.


For the first time, the Commonwealth environment minister will:


  • make decisions as to which development proposals require environmental assessm ent, decide on whether to approve those proposals, and set the conditions to apply;


  • be able to intervene to ensure developments in catchments will not impact significantly on wetlands listed under the Convention on wetlands;


  • assess the impact of proposed releases of genetically modified organisms;


  • regulate the introduction or trade of emerging species of weeds and feral animals, and develop national plans for their eradication and control;


  • assess the environmental impact of fisheries;


  • develop a legal r egime to govern access to biological resources.


Contacts: Justin O’Brien on 0411 473 697, Senator Andrew Bartlett 0418 743 789



rw  1999-06-25  12:27