21 November 2017
Greens NSW Environment Spokesperson has called the new Draft NSW National Parks System Directions Statement “pathetic” as it recommends just ten ‘examples’ of protected areas be established over the next five years. It falls far short of what is needed to protect our environment and make up for the anaemic growth in National Parks under the NSW Liberal/National Government.
Dr Faruqi said:
“There is just one word to describe this weak plan, and that word is – pathetic. We have a warming climate, we have had the chainsaws and bulldozers unleased across the state and we get a miniscule target of ten ‘examples’ in the next five years.
“Under the Berejiklian Government’s new land clearing laws, permanent protection through National Park status is the only sure way to stop areas of rich biodiversity being destroyed.
“Couple this weak plan with the wholesale gutting and deskilling of the National Parks and Wildlife Service and we have a disaster for the environment.
“There are more than 571 landscape types across NSW and the target is just ten examples over five years. Yet again, the Liberal/National Government fails us on the environment.
“A huge number of bioregions in the state remain chronically underrepresented and this plan manifestly fails to give the big boost we need for permanent protection of ecosystems. The Central Western Plains, the Far West and the Tablelands and Western Slopes all need a huge boost.
“It also boggles the mind how they plan to reach even this weak target with less than $8 million in the budget for land acquisition this financial year, which won’t go far at all. They are spending more on administering their regressive land clearing laws that destroy the environment than on creating new National Parks.
“The Greens are calling for a $250 million National Parks fund to expand the National Park System. It seems there are rivers of gold for their pet privatisation projects but nothing for the permanent protection of the environment” she concluded.