Envirotracker | Environment Victoria

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Since taking office the federal Coalition has taken us years backwards when it comes to environment protection.

We’re keeping an eye on the biggest decisions and actions taken by the current federal government that affect our precious environment – for better or worse.


Below are the actions they’ve taken, current as Wednesday, 29 April 2015:

Any items to add to the list that we've missed? Let us know by emailing editor@environmentvictoria.org.au







  • Promising to monitor the Antarctic whale hunt. More
  • Becoming the only developed nation to repeal carbon pricing. More
  • Announcing a $1.55 billion Emissions Reduction Fund for Direct Action (though this is widely regarded as being inferior to a carbon price in terms of driving emissions reduction). More
  • Failing to appoint a Minister for Science or a Minister for Climate Change. More
  • Announcing $9 million to the National Climate Change Adaptation Facility. More
  • Killing off the independent Climate Commission. More
  • Pledging $800 million for the Green Army. More
  • Moving to abolish the independent Climate Change Authority. More
  • Vowing to maintain a temporary ban on the Supertrawler. More
  • Moving to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. More
  • Listing the Leadbeater's Possum as 'critically endangered'.  More
  • Watering down Australia's target to reduce carbon pollution. More
  • Begrudingly pledging $200m to Green Climate Fund. More
  • Attempting to exclude climate change from the G20 agenda. More
  • Accusing the UN climate head of talking ‘through her hat’ on the link between climate change and bushfires. More
  • Failing to send a government minister to represent Australia at international climate talks. More
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  • Seeking new powers to block Infrastructure Australia from considering how climate change may affect needs in sectors such as energy and transport. More
  • Slashing budget for Direct Action emissions reduction fund by nearly two thirds. More
  • Seeking to form an international alliance to thwart President Obama on climate policy. More
  • Snubbing personal invitation from UN Secretary-General to attend global climate talks. More 
  • Granting $4 million for climate contrarian Bjorn Lomborg to set up a think tank at the University of Western Australia. More 


  • Attempting to prevent the Clean Energy Finance Corporation from investing in wind power or small scale solar. More
  • Destroying investment and jobs in renewable energy through a never-ending review of the Renewable Energy Target. More
  • Proposing to include the burning of waste from the logging of native forests as part of the Renewable Energy Target.  More
  • Cutting $435 million from renewable energy development. More
  • Announcing a review of the health effects of wind farms, despite numerous studies finding no evidence of adverse effects. More
  • Gutting clean energy programs in the May 2014 budget, including the Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund, Energy Efficiency Programmes, the National Solar Schools Plan and Energy Efficiency Information Grants. More
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  • Contrary to pre-election committments, the Abbott Government attempted to axe the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. The Senate has continued to block these bills More


  • Weakening the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to allow them to ignore formal conservation advice for endangered species.  More
  • Canning efforts to secure World Heritage listing over Cape York. More
  • Seeking to revoke the World Heritage listing of Tasmania's forests, less than a year after it was approved. More


  • Allowing the Victorian government to conduct cattle grazing in Alpine National Park More
  • Declaring Australia has "too much locked-up forest" and acclaiming forestry workers as "the ultimate conservationists". More


  • Approving one of the world's largest coal ports near the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. More
  • Revoking ‘critically endangered’ listing for Murray-Darling. More


  • Weakening protections in marine sanctuaries throughout Australia’s new national network of marine parks. More


  • Axing the National Water Commission. More


  • Imposing a cap on water buybacks - the most cost-effective way of getting water back into our rivers. More
  • Abolishing the COAG standing committee on Environment and Water. More
  • Handing over the ability to approve offshore oil and gas projects to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority. More
  • Issuing permits for petroleum exploration within marine sanctuaries. More
  • Supporting shark cull in Western Australia by granting exemption from threatened species laws. More
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  • Allowing a new super trawler into Australian waters. More 
  • Allowing seismic testing in protected marine areas. More 



  • Slashing jobs at the CSIRO. More
  • Ripping $116 million in funding from CSIRO. More
  • Cutting $6.7 million from the Caring for our Country program which grants money to conservation projects. More
  • Slashing 500 jobs and $100 million from the Department of Environment. More
  • Cutting $484 million from Landcare and the Caring for Our Country programs despite repeated promises Landcare funding would be maintained. More
  • Attempting to silence those willing to speak up for mother nature by defunding the Environment Defenders Offices. More
  • Reviewing the tax deductible status of environment groups. More 


  • Dumping their election promise to install solar power or solar hot water on One Million Roofs. More
  • Dumping election promise to re-establish the Low Carbon Australia energy efficiency agency. More
  • Terminating the Low Carbon Communities program, which provides grants to local councils and other groups to make energy efficiency upgrades to community buildings More
  • Ending the home energy saver scheme. More 
  • Cutting the Energy Efficiency Opportunities program so big polluters no longer required to identify energy saving practices.  More


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  • Handing over responsibility for environmental approval to the states by creating a 'one-stop shop' for businesses. More
  • Legislating to prevent court challenges to the approval of mining projects where conservation advice is ignored. More
  • Slashing nearly 500 jobs at the Department of Environment and cutting funding by $100 million. More
  • Providing $1.5 billion for the East-West Link freeway, yet not one cent for the Napthine Government’s proposed new train lines. More
  • Cutting grants to environment organisations. More
  • Weakening protection of underground reservoirs from coal seam gas production and coal mining. More
  • Slashing more than 100 Environment Department jobs from the unit that monitors environment standards. More
  • Providing tax loop-hole for investors in mining companies. More
  • Allocating farmland for a nuclear waste dump. More 







Any items to add to the list that we've missed? Let us know by emailing editor@environmentvictoria.org.au



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