Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Coalition Parties environment policy offers a glimmer of hope for the future

The Colong Foundation for Wilderness welcomes the Coalition Parties new plans for environment protection.

“Today’s new announcements of further funding of wildlife linkages, pest species control in national parks, residential smart metres to reduce energy use, a solar power station for Outback NSW, and the encouragement of LPG and hybrid vehicles are all good news. But as the funding comes from the sale of the NSW Waste Service, a government asset, this enhanced support for the environment will not be on-going,” said Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

“Without recurrent funding, enhanced control of weeds and feral animals in parks could not be a long term benefit. You must maintain pest control measures, otherwise money can be wasted when pests recolonise the controlled area,” he said.

“The Coalition’s environment policy also does not offer any money for reserve acquisition, even in western NSW, where there are very few parks. Tourism is about the best thing that happened to the Outback, but the Coalition does not see the conservation opportunities out there,” he said.

Even with today’s policy, however, the net result of all Coalition policy is still negative for the environment. The Coalition’s plans to abolish national parks and marine parks, scrap land clearing lands, water down wilderness protection and sack many government workers engaged in conservation are very negative policies”, Mr Muir said.

“In March 1988 Nick Greiner promised not to revoke national parks or mine or log them. We need a similar assurance from Peter Debnam that national parks and marine parks will not be reviewed, or wilderness areas compromised if the Coalition secures office on March 24th,” Mr Muir said.

“Its no surprise that today’s environment policy announcement makes no mention of wilderness. The Coalition plans open wilderness up to horse riding and grazing. Wilderness is the core of the reserve system and without it protected, the whole conservation system will fall apart”, said Mr Muir.

For more information contact: Keith Muir, (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 9550 3615 (ah)