News | 20th Oct, 2010

Vic Libs, Labor bomb out on environment

Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Sydney Morning Herald

Less than six weeks out from an election that will see an unprecedented push from the Greens, Victoria's major political parties have bombed out on the environment.

An independent environmental scorecard has given the Coalition's green credentials a measly 14 out of 100, while the Labor government failed with a score of 45.

The Greens, who are closing in on four inner Melbourne seats, scored 90.
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The scorecard, released on Wednesday, ranks the parties based on their policy commitments in the areas of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, sustainability and protecting rivers, habitats and forests.

But it does not assess the parties' ability to deliver on their promises and the authors acknowledge many policies have yet to be announced.

The analysis has been prepared by Environment Victoria, Friends of the Earth, the Wilderness Society and the Victorian National Parks Association.

It compares party policy commitments against benchmarks set by the environmental groups in their pre-election wishlist, released last November.

Environment Victoria chief executive Kelly O'Shanassy said that while it was early in the election campaign, the results showed Labor and the coalition had a lot of work to do to catch up to the Greens.

"I'm not surprised that this early in the process not all the parties have released all of their (policy) information and why we wanted to put the scorecard out early is … to encourage the parties to put out strong environmental policies," she said.

"The environment and climate change are key election issues and … both Labor and the coalition will need to have a positive story to tell voters on these issues."

Opposition environment spokeswoman Mary Wooldridge said the survey didn't accurately reflect the coalition's policy on the environment because there were many policies yet to be announced.

"We've got a lot more of our policy to be released in our campaign and that's not included in the survey," she told AAP.

"We've had some very positive positions on the environment and, of course, the scorecard doesn't take into account what's been happening before. It's just looking forward."

A spokesman for Environment Minister Gavin Jennings said the scorecard was highly subjective and the results were at odds with the environment movement's strong support for the government's action on climate change.

"The scorecard fails to give any consideration to the credibility of the parties' commitments and claims, does not require that they be costed and does not assess any social impacts.

"It is disappointing environment policy is not debated in a more meaningful way," the spokesman said.

Check out the scorecard for yourself

View our media release here