22 June, 2021
The recommendation by UNESCO that the Great Barrier should be placed on the “in danger” list of World Heritage sites is a further indictment on the Government’s poor record on climate action, Independent Zali Steggall MP said.
“This draft recommendation should not come as a surprise,” Ms Steggall MP said. “Scientists across Australia have been calling on the Government to take better care of our environmental heritage, in particular the Great Barrier Reef.
“The Environment Minister, Sussan Ley, claims that the Morrison Government has been ‘blindsided’ by this draft recommendation and that the Government is meeting and beating its targets. That is not true.
“We are not doing what is necessary to protect the Great Barrier Reef and the call is urgent to lock in net zero by 2050 and double our 2030 emission reduction ambitions. We need to get in step with our trading partners to make sure we protect these unbelievably important world heritage sites.
“It is ironic that on the same day that the Government is exposed by UNESCO and the international community, the Government is proposing to weaken environmental laws in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Bill.
“The Government has failed to commit and put forward strong National Environmental Standards, a key recommendation of the Graeme Samuels Review,” Ms Steggall said.
Ms Steggall will introduce several amendments to the EPBC to strengthen the provisions for making National Environmental Standards.
Meanwhile, both the LNP and Labor are opposing Ms Steggall’s disallowance motion in the House of Representatives to cancel a Government program that aims to explore and drill for oil and gas in the Beetaloo Gas Basin in the Northern Territory.
“Emissions from the fracked gas could increase Australia’s emissions by up to 8%. The International Energy Agency has warned that no more fossil fuel developments can go forward if we are to reach net zero by 2050. We are custodians for future generations of our environment and this decision shows that the Morrison Government has a poor record on environment.”
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