Wilderness Society National Director Lyndon Schneiders
15.09.15 1:14 pm
• Fraser protected the Great Barrier Reef and Howard created national environment laws
• Incoming Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull needs to strengthen national environment laws
• Economic leadership starts with embracing fast growing industries such as renewable energy
• World Heritage advocate Turnbull needs to protect Tasmania’s forests from mining and logging
Former Environment Minister and incoming Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull now has the opportunity to create a new vision and approach to climate change and environment policy that draws on the great traditions of true liberal leaders.
“Malcolm Turnbull was a good and effective environment minister,” said Wilderness Society National Director Lyndon Schneiders. “Now he can embrace the future and become a great and visionary prime minister like some of the great Liberal leaders.
“Malcolm Fraser stopped oil exploration on the Great Barrier Reef and sand mining on Fraser Island, created the Kakadu National Park and started the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. John Howard created our national environment laws, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
“Malcolm Turnbull now has the opportunity to strengthen those national laws, dropping plans to transfer environmental approval powers to the states and making sure that all Australians can use the courts to make sure those laws are properly applied. He also needs to bring back government oversight of our offshore oil and gas exploration.
“Mr Turnbull says the country needs new economic leadership and that’s no more apparent in the need to embrace and encourage one of the world’s fastest growing industries, renewable energy. His government needs to set strong emissions reduction targets that encourage and support investment in renewables.
“Renewable energy has given Australia a great opportunity to boost the economy and jobs when it is desperately needed, when the mining boom is ending and manufacturing is struggling. Australia can still be the lucky country, with lots of sun and wind to power a renewable energy future.
“The Energy Revolution is the biggest technological development since the Industrial Revolution, with global investment in renewable energy outstripping investment in fossil fuels. Last year more than $300 billion was invested in the renewable energy sector and 1 million jobs around the world. Australia needs to embrace renewable and become a climate leader again.
“Mr Turnbull was a strong supporter of World Heritage when he was environment minister and had submitted plans for 11 sites to be added to the World Heritage list before the Howard Government lost office. He now can make sure Australia’s World Heritage sites are properly protected and that logging and mining plans for Tasmania’s World Heritage forests are dropped before they hurt Tasmania’s growing tourism industry.”