Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown has said that Tony Abbott’s stated scepticism on climate change today will shock many Liberal voters.
“And in a world where both big and small business understand the science of climate change and the need for appropriate action, Abbott’s comments will also dismay most business operators,” Senator Brown said.
“Abbott’s failure on climate change is shepherding the government’s weakness at Copenhagen. For instance, the Rudd government’s failure to announce adequate funds for developing countries to deal with climate change, described as an insult by the spokesperson for the G77 plus China developing nations group, Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping.”
“Oxfam estimates Australia’s baseline contribution should be over $3 billion a year.”
“The make-up of Tony Abbott’s new front bench makes Sir Robert Menzies look pink,” Senator Brown said.
“The report clearly validates many of the concerns raised by Darling Downs and Surat Basin communities at the epicentre of the conflict between resource extraction and farming.
“The inquiry learned that tightening the regulations on a case by case basis – while essential – does not address the question of whether the short term benefits of coal mining on productive farmland outweigh the long-term costs.
“These costs can be great indeed: compromised land, damaged aquifers and reduced food security.
“The Australian Greens believe that leaving this for State Governments to determine is unacceptable and will inevitably lead to the irreversible destruction of some of Australia’s prime farming country.
“The Commonwealth reserves the right to assess and, if necessary, block development projects if they breach matters of national environmental significance.
“We think similar tests should apply in the case of irreversible damage to water resources or destruction of prime farmland.
“We want to see the Water Act 2007 amended to ban mining and extractive industries where they will have adverse impacts on groundwater resources and the environment,” Senator Ludlam concluded.
“This is a victory of science over politics. The Greens and the community are thrilled with Minister Garrett’s decision,” said Queensland lead Senate candidate and environmental lawyer Larissa Waters.
“Minister Garrett’s decision to apply the precautionary principle by refusing a dam with palpable risks to the environment is one which restores my faith in our federal environmental laws,” said Ms Waters.
“The challenge is now for Premier Bligh to invest in the alternative sustainable water supply solutions which the Greens and the Mary Valley community have been calling for for years.
“The Queensland government must focus on demand and supply management, rainwater tanks, water recycling, stormwater harvesting, evaporation reduction, water efficiency and sustainable groundwater extraction.
“Only after all these options have been delivered should the government consider the need for more energy-hungry and water-polluting desalination plants. If they are found to be necessary, desalination plants must be powered by 100% renewable energy, be sited out of national parks and have safe brine disposal,” concluded Ms Waters.
"No world leader can ignore the planet's population burden. There were 3 billion people when Kevin Rudd was born. There are 6.8 billion now. There will be 9 billion by mid-century. This population boom is not economic wisdom, it is a recipe for planetary exhaustion and great human tragedy."
Bob Brown, September 2009
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