Media Releases | 27th Jul, 2007

Thwaites set standard for future environment, climate and water ministers

Friday, 27 July 2007

Environment Victoria today congratulated John Thwaites on his achievements as environment and water minister in the Bracks government.

“Minister Thwaites has advanced the protection and restoration of Victoria’s unique environment. He has been an outstanding minister for the environment, water and climate change – we hope he will continue to be a champion for the environment in his new life outside politics,” said Kelly O’Shanassy Chief Executive Officer of Environment Victoria.

“Minister Thwaites set the standard for future environment and water ministers. He gave the environment and water portfolio the energy, intelligence and leadership it was crying out for”, said Ms O’Shanassy.

“Future Victorians will benefit from cleaner water and healthier rivers because of the leadership Minister Thwaites has shown. He was a Minister who would listen to new ideas and challenge accepted wisdom. We may not always have seen eye-to-eye, but there was no doubt that he had a genuine commitment to restoring rivers and making them places Victorians could be proud of”, said Dr Sinclair.

Key environmental legacies of Bracks Government:

  • Making historic commitments to return water to the Snowy, Murray Rivers, Thomson and Yarra Rivers;
  • Creating the first legally recognized environmental water reserve’s for the state’s river systems;
  • Introducing initiatives that now mean that Victoria recycles more waste than it throws into landfill;
  • Establishing the Victorian renewable energy target and securing investment in renewable energy that will help Victoria reduce our greenhouse gas pollution;
  • Creating Victoria’s first Marine National Park system and fully protecting Victoria’s Alpine National Park

“We look forward to working with the new Premier and Minister for Environment, Water and Climate Change to meet the environmental challenges facing Victoria,” said Ms O’Shanassy

The key environmental challenges facing the new Premier and Minister will be:

  • Mitigating the dramatic greenhouse impacts of the Hazelwood Power Station, and reducing Victoria’s overall greenhouse pollution by at least 30% by 2020;
  • Introducing legislation to make the producers of waste responsible for taking back, recycling and reusing their waste;
  • Buying back water licenses from high water using irrigation industries to meet the
  • Victorian Government’s promises to provide environmental flows to the Murray and Snowy Rivers