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States’ track record on forests shows RFAs must be scrapped and national environment protection crucial

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 31 Jul 2013

The Australian Greens welcome the Environmental Defenders Offices’ report out today that shows state governments have grossly failed to protect native forests, that the federal government must scrap Regional Forest Agreements, and that Tony Abbott’s plan to put states in control of more environmental matters would be disastrous.

“Regional Forest Agreements have led to gross mismanagement of the nation’s forests, causing a biodiversity crisis in many unique ecosystems,” Senator Lee Rhiannon, Australian Greens forests spokesperson, said.

“They provide a weakened environmental protection regime for forest management and are not covered by the national Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Protection under state governments through these agreements has been far worse than when forests were under federal control.

“The status of tiger quolls illustrates the problem, with the tiger quoll is listed federally as endangered, but only as vulnerable in NSW,” Senator Rhiannon said.

Australian Greens environment spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters said: “Even though state control has proven a disaster for our native forests, Tony Abbott wants to give his state cronies the final say on more of Australia’s environmental treasures, including World Heritage Areas and threatened species, by devolving national environment protections.

“The Greens moved to amend our environmental laws to keep environmental approvals for nationally significant matters in federal hands but both the old parties voted against us.

“Labor refused to Abbott-proof our national environment law so that approvals for Australia’s most environmentally damaging projects can’t be handed over to the states by a future government.

“Labor has done nothing to stand in the way of Tony Abbott’s environmentally ruthless plan, leaving our most precious landscapes and wildlife in danger of facing the same fate that our native forests have suffered under Regional Forest Agreements. 

“The Greens are the only party Australians can trust on the environment,” Senator Waters said.

Senator Rhiannon -  Brami Jegan 0487 350 880  
Senator Waters - Monique Vandeleur 0419 626

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