Apr 20, 2005

Howard’s legacy: environmental decline

HOWARD’S LEGACY: ENVIRONMENTAL DECLINE

MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 20 April 2005

Nine long years of the Howard Government has seen a decline in the state of Australia’s environment.

That’s the key finding of the Australian Bureau of Statistics report Measures of Australia’s Progress released today.

The report finds that:

• Since 1994, there has been a 39% increase in the number of threatened terrestrial birds and mammals. Much of this increase occurred between 1997 and 2000.

• Greenhouse emissions have risen by 8.8% since 1992, and according to the Australian Greenhouse Office will rise by 23% by 2020.

• In 2000, almost 25% of Australia’s surface water management areas were overused or highly used.

There is some good news. Land clearing decreased by 40% between 1991 and 2001 and will have decreased even more dramatically in recent years due to the strong leadership of Labor Governments in New South Wales and Queensland.

The area of land protected in national parks has also increased significantly due to the actions of State Labor Governments.

The message is very clear. John Howard is not good for the environment.

Only Labor will take action to significantly cut greenhouse pollution. Only Labor will save the Murray River. Only Labor is committed to protecting Australia’s unique environment.