Dec 6, 2006

State of the Environment Report: Labor launches environment discussion paper

State of the Environment Report: Labor launches major environment discussion paper

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

6 December 2006

Today’s release of the State of the Environment Report for 2006 confirms the decline in Australia’s environment under the Howard Government.

On John Howard’s watch Australia’s greenhouse emissions continue to rise and our vital waterways are deteriorating.

The State of the Environment Report for 2006 confirms climate change is hurting Australia and that greenhouse pollution continues to soar under the Howard Government. In particular, the Report notes:

  • Greenhouse emissions are set to rise by 22% of 1990 levels by 2020; 
  • Rainfall over eastern Australia has been lower than average since 2001; 
  • Perth has 50% less water in its catchments than in the mid-1970’s.
  • Ocean temperatures increased 0.28°C since 1950, threatening disaster for the Great Barrier Reef.

In relation to water, the Report says Australia is the third largest per capita user of water in the world and there is “significant pressures on Australia’s inland river systems”.

The pressure on our river systems is starkly demonstrated by today’s Murray Darling Basin Commission report that inflows to the Basin from June – November 2006 have been only 7% of the long-term average for that period.

Today, Labor released its discussion paper, Protecting and Restoring Our Precious Natural Environment and Water Supplies. Click here for a pdf of the ALP Discussion paper: Protecting and Restoring Our Precious Natural Environment and Water Supplies

The discussion paper shows Labor has an alternative vision for Australia – a healthy environment and a healthy economy.

Labor will establish national targets for environmental improvement, take immediate action to help avoid dangerous climate change and will put 1,500 gigalitres per annum back into the Murray River within ten years.

Labor will consider consolidating land, water and biodiversity programs to ensure money is spent on the environment and not on unnecessary bureaucracy.