ACF is calling on the Federal Government to fund policies that will turn around Australia’s rising emissions trajectory and address our climate pollution problem.
As Australia faces compounding environmental emergencies, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) is calling for a Federal Budget that makes long-term, large-scale public investment in a sustainable future, including funding for a new national Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and a $1 billion-a-year national environment fund.
ACF is calling on the Morrison Government to fund policies that will turn around Australia’s rising emissions trajectory and address our climate pollution problem.
ACF’s budget submission also proposes funding for a standalone Murray-Darling regulatory and compliance unit within a new EPA, consistent with the Productivity Commission’s recommendation to remove these functions from the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.
“Australians are experiencing environmental disasters of unparalleled degree and frequency,” said ACF Chief Executive Officer, Kelly O’Shanassy.
“More than a million fish dead in the Darling River, half the shallow corals of the Great Barrier Reef dead from mass bleaching, bushfires in Tasmanian forests that were thought too wet to burn and heatwaves that have shattered temperature records across the land.
“These disasters are not normal or bad luck. They are the direct consequence of short-term thinking by governments and industry. They are what happens when our environment is traded off, pushed beyond its limits and ignored.
“Since taking office in 2013 the Federal Coalition Government has slashed investment in our environment by about 40 per cent and – aside from the one-off $444 million cash drop to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation – it continues to decline.
“Adding extra money to a re-badged emissions reduction fund is no substitute for the substantial suite of policies required to transition Australia to a zero-pollution economy.
“Instead of subsidising coal mining and burning, this budget could invest in repowering Australia with clean energy, it could fund a national EPA to enforce stronger environment laws, it could purchase more water for the desperate Murray-Darling river system.
“If we invest in protecting people and nature, our clean air and our fresh water, Australian communities and businesses will thrive.”