Sep 5, 2006

Report Card Gives Howard Government an F for Environmental Performance

Report Card Gives Howard Government an F for Environmental Performance

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

5 September 2006

The Howard Government occasionally talks about the environment, but recent reports show it does nothing to back these words up.

A senior Liberal backbencher and a bipartisan Committee report have shone the spotlight on the Howard Government’s failure to protect Australia’s environment.

Dr Mal Washer, the Liberal Chair of the House of Representatives Environment Committee, told Parliament yesterday:

“what has become clear to this Committee…is the void that exists when it comes to national leadership on green procurement practices and indeed wider environmental performance issues.”

The House of Representatives Environment Committee has reviewed a damning Audit Office report into green procurement practices in Australian Government agencies.

The Audit Office found:

· The proportion of vehicles achieving the Howard Government’s Green Vehicle Guide target fell from 17.9% to 12.5%.

· Only 58% of agencies have met the Government’s energy efficiency target and only 20% of office tenancies had undertaken energy efficiency audits; and

· Most agencies had done little to reduce water consumption.

The Audit Office concluded “performance in managing motor vehicle emissions, reducing or recycling general office waste and conserving water has been variable and in the majority of cases, poor”.

The Howard Government is dangerously out of touch with the Australian community when it comes to energy, water and fuel efficiency, recycling and cutting Australia’s soaring greenhouse pollution.

The Howard Government’s complacency means Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions rose a disastrous 25.1% between 1990 and 2004 when land use changes are excluded.

The Howard Government must accept responsibility for the void in national leadership on the environment that Mal Washer has identified.