News | 27th Nov, 2012

Internal fire for Baillieu over green record

27 November 2012
Henrietta Cook, The Age

The daughters of former Victorian Liberal premier and founder of Melbourne's green wedges, Sir Rupert Hamer, have criticised the Baillieu government's environmental record.

Sarah Brenan and Julia Hamer said their late father would be "extremely disappointed" and "incensed" about proposed changes to the state's planning zones that will affect green wedges.

Ms Hamer said she was also concerned about Melbourne's "chaotic, ugly and unserviced "outer suburbs.

The sisters will speak at an event in Kew tonight that has been organised by Environment Victoria, Victorian National Parks Association, The Wilderness Society and Friends of the Earth.

Ms Hamer said planning and environmental protection needed to go hand in hand and the state government had a responsibility to help people reduce their ecological footprint.

"I'm really concerned that is not happening. There seems to be a bit of a free for all in how the outer suburbs are developing and it is bad for everyone except for people who are making a windfall out of it."

She said Melbourne's boundaries was expanding in an unplanned and unsustainable

"People don't have public transport so they are spending huge amounts of money on petrol…that means there are thousands of cars swishing around."

Ms Brenan said caring for the environment transcended partisan politics and needed to be put back on the agenda. "I think the environment is in trouble."

Ms Hamer said her late father would be "incensed' about proposed changes affecting the city's 12 green wedges.

" He would be scratching his head and thinking I made this easy to do, why are people not able to continue doing this?"

On Monday Environment Victoria released an audit which found that the Baillieu government had only fully delivered 13 of its 58 pre-election environmental policy commitments.

The audit said the state government had broken six pre-election promises including supporting Victoria's legislated target to reduce greenhouse emissions by 20 per cent by 2020 and implementing a $20 million plan to replace inefficient street lights.

"We would rate the Baillieu government's performance on the environment as a fail," Environment Victoria Campaigns Director Mark Wakeham said. But a spokesman for Environment Minister Ryan Smith said Environment Victoria's claims were inaccurate and the state government was focused on delivering its environmental commitments…

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