The Federal Government’s Intergenerational Report pays lip service to the environment, but it paints a future where Australia remains stuck with a fossil fuel-driven economy, the Australian Conservation Foundation said today.
“The Intergenerational Report paints an energy future that looks a lot like Australia’s energy past,” said ACF’s CEO Kelly O’Shanassy.
“It sees us continuing to rely on climate-changing fossil fuels and fails to recognise that the environment is the foundation of our livelihoods and way of life.
“Its solution to climate change is the discredited ‘direct action’ policy, which experts agree is an incomplete and ineffective way to cut pollution.
“This government talks about reducing the deficit to end intergenerational theft, but its approach to climate change is stealing our children’s future.
“The greatest gifts we can give future generation are magnificent natural places to love and a healthy Australia that supports their lives. Sadly, neglect by successive governments could see us be the first generation to pass on a poorer quality of life to our children.
“ACF disputes the Intergenerational Report’s description of the Great Barrier reef as ‘the best managed marine ecosystem in the world’.
“We strongly disagree with the report’s assertion that the ‘introduction of One Stop Shops for environmental approvals will see the start of a new era of cooperation between states and the Australian Government on environmental regulation’.
“State governments are not the appropriate guardians of places of national significance.
“If state governments had their way, there would now be oil rigs on the Great Barrier Reef and a massive dam on the Franklin River. Giving assessment and approval powers to the states would set back environment protection in Australia by 30 years, making it easier to mine, dredge and clear the places we all love.
“If the Government was serious about not passing on a burden to future generations, it would start to play a constructive role in the global effort to tackle climate change.”