News | 31st Jul, 2012

Vic govt failing the environment: group

31 July 2012
Herald Sun

The Victorian government is taking the environment backwards with broken promises, poor vision and an inability to listen to the public, the state's peak environmental lobby group says.

A report by Environment Victoria says the Baillieu government's first 18 months in power have shown it doesn't consider the environment's protection a priority, and has no clear plan to tackle declining biodiversity, climate change, unsustainable water use and Melbourne's urban sprawl.

Environment Victoria CEO Kelly O'Shanassy said the report referenced a poll of 1000 people, which found the government was out of touch with the environmental interests and attitudes of Victorians.

"Victorians want liveable cities, not urban sprawl," Ms O'Shanassy said in a statement.

"But the government's decisions are taking us in the opposite direction."

The report says out of 57 significant environmental policy commitments the government made ahead of the 2010 election, it had so far delivered only five in full, and already broken three.

But Victorian Environment Minister Ryan Smith said the government was delivering on its commitments.

"We're getting on with what we said we would do – recycling more waste from landfill, harvesting stormwater, cleaning up our waterways and beaches," Mr Smith said.

Commitments referenced by the report, including the planned phase-out of Hazelwood power station, were promises Labor made in government but did not fund, Mr Smith said.

The coalition government has boosted support to organisations such as Landcare to achieve real environmental benefits, Mr Smith added.

Victoria's Environment: A State in Reverse also attacks the government for scrapping a legislated target of a 20 per cent reduction in greenhouse pollution by 2020 and reintroducing cattle grazing in the Alpine National Park.




Read the report 'Victoria's Environment: A State in Reverse here

Read CEO Kelly O'Shanassy's blog on the Baillieu government's performance here

Read our media release here