The Australian Conservation Foundation’s scorecard rating political parties’ environmental policies out of 100 points has given the Liberal/National coalition 11, Labor 53 and the Greens 77.
“The politicians who want to lead the country must have real plans to protect people, rivers, reefs, forests and wildlife for the future,” said ACF’s CEO Kelly O’Shanassy.
“The Liberal/National’s 11 out of 100 on the environment is woefully inadequate. If they are not prepared to lead on climate and nature, they are not fit to lead the country.
“It’s not as if conservatives can’t be good conservationists – Liberal cabinet minister Garfield Barwick was ACF’s first president; Robert Menzies signed the first Antarctic Treaty; Malcolm Fraser made Kakadu a national park; John Howard established the National Greenhouse Inventory and the National Water Initiative.
“The ALP’s and the Green’s policies on protecting nature and cutting pollution put them a long way ahead of the Coalition, but there is still room for improvement.
“A recent poll showed climate change is one of the top four issues for voters.
“This year’s mass bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef is a stark reminder that climate change is hitting Australia hard, and we must get out of the coal business quickly.
“That means phasing out Australia’s coal fired power stations, turbo-boosting clean energy, helping affected communities with the transition and definitely not approving any new coal mines.
“With a whole month still to go before polling day, there is time for all parties to improve their scores,” she said.
ACF will release a final version of the scorecard in the week before election day.