Media Releases | 6th May, 2002

Green ticks for environment spending in budget

Wednesday, 7 May 2002

Environment Groups in Victoria today welcomed Government spending to turn the Victorian economy towards sustainability.

The State Budget recommitted $39 million over 4 years for the conservation of sea life in marine national parks and allocated $20.8 million of new money for the preservation of scarce Box Ironbark forests.

The Director of the Victorian National parks Association, Mick Fendley, welcomed the commitment to marine and land-based parks and the increased funding for weed and pest eradication.

In addition the new spending on freshwater resources was commended. This included:

  • $10.6 million to implement a River Health Strategy, particularly for the Ovens and Mitchell rivers;
  • $12.8 million to improve the health of the Gippsland Lakes
  • $77 million over ten years as a State contribution to construct the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline

“Today the Government has recognised the importance of our rivers and moved to protect them” said Dr Paul Sinclair, Director of Environment Victoria’s Healthy Rivers Campaign.

“The allocation of $77 million for the construction of the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline is welcome as long as water savings go to increasing environmental flows, particularly in stressed rivers and agriculture. Environment groups will strongly oppose any water savings going to develop sand mining exploration and commercialisation”

Other positive environmental measures funded in the Budget included increased resources for greenhouse gas abatement and increased funding for public transport throughout Victoria. The groups welcomed the announcement to create a Centre for Energy and Greenhouse in the Latrobe Valley. “This Centre will be judged on how well it is able to act as an incubator in developing renewable energy manufacturing industries in Victoria,” said Cam Walker, Campaigns Coordinator for Friends of the Earth.