Heads should roll over the ineptitude and failure of duty identified by the Auditor-General in a scathing report into Australia’s environment laws released this afternoon, the Greens say.
Greens Spokesperson for the Environment Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:
“The Auditor-General’s assessment of the government’s management of the environment and our wildlife is scathing.
“The report shows the Environment Minister and the Federal Department have failed to protect the environment and are, simply put, incompetent.
“Heads should roll over this ineptitude and failure of duty. If this was the Health Minister who had overseen the botched implementation and enforcement of health and safety regulations, they and the head of their department would get the sack. The environment should be no different.
“The PM needs to abandon his so-called fast-track environmental approvals and Labor needs to get off the unity ticket with the government. There can be no argument for weakening environmental laws when the government is this inept.
“The laws have failed to protect Australia’s environment and wildlife for far too long. Things must change. We need stronger protection, not weaker laws.
“This report shows, it’s not just incompetency, it’s a lack of care and duty that has allowed the trashing of the environment. Putting the interests of miners and developers ahead of clean water, critical habitat and the survival of our native animals.
“The government cannot guarantee that not one more hectare of critical koala habitat will be lost under their plan. They cannot guarantee that not one more sacred Aboriginal site will be blown up.
“Enough is enough. There must be accountability, and it must be at the top. Not only do our environmental laws need an overhaul but clearly so does those who are in charge of administering them.
“The 10-year review into the EPBC Act, which the PM and Minister Ley haven’t even waited for before plotting a path to further environmental destruction, will be handed to the government next week and must be immediately released.
“Australians won’t accept anything less than a response that puts our environment first, and well ahead of vested interests that pollute and destroy our precious natural places.”