Green groups have cautiously welcomed the State budget, supporting increased levies on parks and landfill but criticizing overall investment in the environment.
Environment Victoria (EV) Executive Director Marcus Godinho said the Metropolitan Parks Charge was a positive initiative, with extra revenue being given to improve city parks management and the creation of waste reduction strategies.
“We have long been pushing for money raised by levies on environmental services to be used on environmental improvement programs so we welcome these new levies,” said Mr Godinho.
Mr Godinho said EV anticipated further announcements on protecting and restoring Victoria’s water resources in the forthcoming white paper, “Securing Our Water Future”.
Victorian National Parks Association director Charlie Sherwin said he was disappointed more funds were not dedicated to national parks.
“While bushfire management and recovery are important these should not be funded at the expense of core environmental activities like national park management,” said Mr Sherwin.
“We are particularly disappointed that no provision was made in this budget for removing damaging cattle grazing from the alpine national park.”
The groups were concerned overall funding to the Department of Sustainability and Environment was low compared to other sectors.
“It is dissapointing that the overall allocation of funding to new environmental intitatives is so small and at a time when the government can claim a strong economic position, good financial management and an extremely healthy surplus,” said Mr Godinho.
The Brack’s Government has initiated many excellent environmental improvements but this budget seems to represent a green slow down at a time when this Government’s role as environmental leaders needs to be accelerated.”