The Marshall Liberal Government’s willful abandonment of the environment will send species extinct and further degrade struggling eco-systems in South Australia, according to Greens MLC, Mark Parnell.
“The hypocrisy of the Liberals knows no bounds. In opposition, they criticised Labor’s annual budget cuts to the environment, but as soon as they are elected, they do the same, with 100 jobs axed last year and more to come”, said Mark Parnell.
“Now, they have gone one step further with yet more cuts and transforming the Environment Department into an “economic development agency”. The clear message is that if the environment doesn’t make money for someone, it’s not worth protecting. Heaven help our endangered wildlife. If creatures like the Glossy Black Cockatoo or Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby don’t start earning their keep, the Government has made it clear that they are a lower priority. This is not a good time to be a Hooded Plover or an Orange-bellied Parrot in South Australia.
“The Marshall Liberal Government’s honeymoon period is now well and truly over. The Government has shown its true anti-environment colours. Any notion that they might care about species, eco-systems, rivers, sustainability and the climate, have all but disappeared.
“Early indications of the new Liberal Government’s anti-environment agenda became apparent with:
• Savage budget cuts to environmental programs last year
• Handing coastal conservation land on Kangaroo Island to golf course developers
• Privatising parts of National Parks
“Now, they have left us in no doubt that only those parts of the environment that make money deserve protection.
“The Greens are calling on the Liberals to stop the cuts and retain a Department that is focused on protecting our environment and waterways. They need to stand up for South Australia’s environment and River Murray. The Government should heed the warning of the Royal Commissioner into the management of the River Murray that kow-towing to economic interests only results in further degradation of the environment.
“Declaring war on the environment pits this government against everyone who cares about our natural heritage. We must protect the environment for its own sake as well as for future generations”, concluded Mark Parnell.