Media Releases | 29th Nov, 2006

New portfolio signals need for strong environmental action

Wednesday, 29 November 2006

The state’s leading green group has welcomed the Bracks Government cabinet announcement today that acknowledges the vital importance of the environment, water and climate change.

Environment Victoria executive director Marcus Godinho said the new super-portfolio of water, environment and climate change – with new offices of Climate Change and Water to be created – was a good sign the Government would take stronger environmental action over its next term.

“The significance of water, climate change and the environment is reflected in the new offices and also by the Deputy Premier retaining responsibility for these key issues,” Mr Godinho said.

“Minister Thwaites has a strong understanding of these areas and the need for urgent action and is well-placed to ensure the Victorian Government takes meaningful action over the next four years.”

Mr Godinho said the portfolios presented major challenges for the Government included urgent need for:

  • Legislated short-term targets to cut greenhouse gas levels 20% by 2020 from 1990 levels to halt the devastating impacts of climate change;
  • Improved protection and environmental flows for our river systems which provide most of our water supplies and offer numerous community benefits;
  • A long-term plan to restore the health of the Murray – including inter-governmental cooperation to return 1,500 gigalitres to the Murray by 2015 and faster use of market mechanisms to purchase water for the environment from willing sellers.

“The long-term prosperity of Victoria depends on this Government getting on with the business of making rivers healthy, reducing our greenhouse pollution and rewarding wise water and energy use,” said Mr Godinho.