Environment Victoria, the state’s leading independent environment group, has audited the environmental performance of the Baillieu Government after one year in office. The audit assessed the Baillieu Government’s delivery of its election promises on the environment and also assessed significant actions taken that were not foreshadowed prior to the election.
The audit, entitled “Envirowatch 2011: One year in” found that of the 57 environmental policy commitments of significance made ahead of the election:
Additionally there have been 11 significant actions taken with environmental consequences which were not part of the Coalition’s election platform. Of these:
Releasing the audit Environment Victoria CEO Kelly O’Shanassy said today:
“The Baillieu Government’s first year in office has been very disappointing for the environment. They are failing to protect our environment and the communities and economies that rely on healthy rivers, productive land and clean air.”
“After one year in government they have delivered only 5 environment promises in full. This lack of progress is worrying but not nearly as concerning as their regressive actions that are taking Victoria’s environment backwards.
Ms O’Shanassy nominated returning cattle to Alpine National Parks, walking away from negotiations to replace Hazelwood power station and introducing new laws which unfairly target wind farms as the most disappointing decisions of the Baillieu Government in its first year.
“These attacks on nature protection, clean energy and pollution reduction take us years backwards on environmental protection.
“The Baillieu Government has also broken 3 promises made to the Victorian public before the election. The most notable is backing away from their clear commitment to reduce Victoria’s greenhouse pollution by 20 percent by 2020.
“Backing away from the state’s greenhouse pollution reduction targets is poor environmental and economic management by the Baillieu Government. If the government continues to stick its head in the sand on climate change action, not only will Victorians face an unsafe climate, we risk missing out on billions of dollars worth of clean energy investment and associated jobs up for grabs.
”The State Coalition didn’t take an environment or climate policy agenda to last year’s election, rather they made a grab-bag of commitments in their water and energy policies. You would think that they would be using their first year in office to develop and consult on an environmental agenda. Unfortunately they’ve rushed headlong into making some very destructive decisions.
“The Baillieu Government has however shown it is capable of delivering some environment outcomes with good decisions to increase the state’s energy efficiency target, increase landfill levies and expand the parks estate. We need more of these positive actions, as well as a proactive agenda on the environment and climate change, over the next 3 years” Ms O’Shanassy concluded.
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