May 23, 2006

Government Plays Catch Up on Coastal Policy

Government Plays Catch Up on Coastal Policy

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

23 May 2006

The Environment Minister has finally launched a national coastal policy, but it falls well short of Labor’s comprehensive plan to protect our coasts which was launched in Adelaide on 5 May 2006.

It also fails to match the Minister’s own promise to develop a 30 year coastal plan.

Our environment is under enormous pressure. Coastal growth can lead to habitat loss, damage to wetlands, the introduction of pests and weeds and coastal erosion.

Climate change will have a dramatic impact on our coasts.

Howard Government complacency means Australia is unprepared for the challenges of coastal growth and climate change.

Labor will work with State and local governments to ensure high quality coastal planning. Labor will develop a National Sustainability Charter with targets for Australia’s environmental, social and economic sustainability, including coastal protection.

Labor will consider legislating for biodiversity ‘hotspots’ to ensure significant environmental impacts on coastal areas would need approval from the Federal Environment Minister.

All of these elements appear to be missing from the coastal policy announced today.

The Howard Government has no plan for Australia to avoid dangerous climate change.

Labor will ensure our children and grandchildren can enjoy the coast as much as we do today.