Media Releases | 25th Nov, 2014

Environment Victoria’s response to Labor’s environment election policy

25 November 2014

Environment Victoria has today welcomed the release of Labor’s environment policy. The policy ‘Our environment our future’ provides further detail about Labor’s environmental agenda, but still leaves Labor much policy work to do if elected to address the state’s environmental challenges.

The Coalition is yet to release an environment or climate change policy.

Environment Victoria CEO Mark Wakeham said today:

“Labor’s policy would reverse a number of the Coalition’s worst attacks on the environment including effectively banning new wind farms, scrapping greenhouse pollution reduction targets, commercialising our National Parks and gutting Sustainability Victoria”.

“We are encouraged by the commitment to reintroduce a state emissions reduction target. It is positive that Labor is indicating that the state has an important role to play in reducing emissions, in stark contrast to the Coalition who have cut all state-based climate programs.

“However the policy falls well short of the ALP’s 2010 Climate Change White Paper which did much of the hard work in exploring how the state could reduce its emissions, including looking at options to phase out our dirtiest power stations. We need a comprehensive climate change plan from the next State Government that accelerates the clean-up of our polluting energy supply.

“We are encouraged by Labor’s commitment to explore accelerated mine rehabilitation at Hazelwood and other coal mines, and the commitment to ban electronic waste from landfills to support the recycling industry is a significant one.”

“The intent behind the reviews of environmental legislation and programs like the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act and management of riparian and coastal areas seems to be positive, even if the detail is scarce.”

“Banning cattle from the Alpine and Red Gum National parks is an important step. We’re also keen to see a plan for getting livestock off river banks and out of waterways developed and implemented.”

“The promised inquiry into the EPA should investigate an expansion of its role to regulate air and water quality and CO2 emissions, as the US EPA is allowed to do.”

“While we are pleased that Labor has provided some of the foundations for future policy making we are disappointed that they have not taken the opportunity to release a more ambitious environment agenda including protecting endangered species like the Leadbeaters Possum through the declaration of the Great Forest National Park, ruling out a coal allocation and exports, and committing to improving the energy and water efficiency of Victorian homes and businesses.”

“In summary Labor’s policy provides a modest but welcome departure from the past 4 years of Coalition’s attacks on the environment. Should the ALP be elected this weekend however it still leaves them with much work to do to develop a comprehensive policy agenda to safeguard our environment and climate.”

For media comment:

Mark Wakeham, CEO, Environment Victoria
DIRECT:   03 9341 8127  MOBILE: 0439 700 50