Labor has unveiled a raft of targeted environmental policies that will protect and enhance the state’s natural environment and repair the damage caused after eight years of neglect by the Liberals and Nationals.
In addition to a 50 per cent Renewable Energy Target by 2030, Labor will seek to ensure the state’s threatened natural parks and waterways are safeguarded for the future.
“The last eight years have been catastrophic for the natural environment in NSW under the Liberals and Nationals. We’ve seen them fail to act on climate change and fail to stop the devastating fish kills in the Murray-Darling river system,” Andrew Zbik, Labor Candidate for Lane Cove said.
“Conservation and protecting our natural environment is core Labor business. We want to make sure that we leave a healthier, cleaner natural environment to our kids and grandkids.”
Under the new policy package, Labor will:
- Protect and support our national parks– including expanding Tomaree National Park in Port Stephens, creating a new koala national park in south-west Sydney, protecting Kosciuszko National Park, and nominating the Royal National Park for World Heritage listing.
- Protect our land, our wildlife, our trees, and our soil– including remaking the biodiversity laws to bring land clearing under control and protect koala habitat, investing $50 million in Labor’s war on weeds and pests, and doubling the funding to Landcare groups.
- Deliver cleaner air– including adopting higher standards to limit pollution from larger particles like dust, improving air quality monitoring near coal fired power stations, and delivering the 10-year ‘Clean Air’ strategy that the current government has failed to finalise.
- Improve the health of NSW waterways– including Labor’s plan to save the Barwon-Darling river system, and restoring the Streamwatch program cut by the current state government.
- Protect and enhance our urban environment– including planting 6 million trees by 2030, creating a first-ever inventory of environmental assets in Sydney, and ensuring that planning laws take environmental assets into account when planning decisions are made.
Labor also recommitted to opposing nuclear power in NSW and repealing the Liberals and Nationals’ anti-protest laws.
Deputy Labor Leader and Shadow Minister for the Environment, Penny Sharpe, said: “We know how important the environment is to the community, and we have listened to individuals and organisations around the state calling for the destruction to stop. We hear you and we are with you.
“The Liberals and Nationals have trashed the state’s environment, whether you look at the decline of our iconic koalas, the devastation along the Darling River, the increases in land clearing and deforestation, or the neglect of our national parks.
“There will be more announcements to come before the election, but today’s package cements our strong commitment that a Daley Labor Government will be the dedicated custodian of the environment that our wildlife, our trees, our land and water sorely need.”