Joint losers: Environment and our communities
December 6, 2018
The environment is the casualty of political point scoring and it is time to reset the agenda.
This view has been expressed by the community based Speak Up Campaign which is concerned about environmental damage across the nation as a consequence of poor government policy.
Speak Up spokesperson Shelley Scoullar said politicians are trying to appease environmental groups, but there is a general lack of environmental understanding and as a consequence we are seeing unnecessary damage to our natural assets.
“It is time everyone started working together to achieve genuine outcomes in the best interests of our nation.
“Let’s stop using the environment to win seats for politicians or gain other political advantage, and start looking at what needs to be done to protect our nation and its people,” Mrs Scoullar said.
This week there are catastrophic bushfires raging across Queensland, with locals concerned they have been exacerbated by failure to adequately manage native vegetation.
Meanwhile, in the NSW Murray Valley there are reports of wildlife dying as their critical food sources are drowned by manmade flooding, and red gums are toppling over as a result of excess unnatural watering.
There is also a common denominator in Queensland and NSW: Governments are making a mess of natural resource management because they refuse to work with locals who live, breathe and understand their local environment. They want to protect it more than anyone, but they’re being ignored.
“Whether you are in Queensland or New South Wales the locals will tell you their Governments have got natural resource management wrong.
“Instead of working with locals who understand their region and its unique needs, we have decisions being made by ideologists in city offices, and many of them rarely step outside their concrete jungle.
“You cannot learn about our country’s unique rural environments from a university text book; you have to live it and breathe it,” Mrs Scoullar said.
He added a prime example of botched government environmental policy was the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
“At present locals are extremely concerned about the environmental damage from trying to force huge quantities of water down the river. There is unprecedented flooding of local forests, river bank slumping and a proliferation of carp breeding.
“It is surely time for everyone to look at solutions that will protect our natural assets. It’s disappointing that we can’t seem to get environmental groups, local organisations and politicians together so they can attempt to get a better appreciation of impact from some past decisions that were actually made for political reasons, not environmental reasons.
“We have to accept that the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is causing unintended environmental damage. So let’s work together and find solutions, because at present the only ones who are happy are the bureaucrats getting huge salaries to implement a plan that is obviously flawed,” Mrs Scoullar said.
For further information or interviews: Shelley Scoullar phone 0414 960 785 or email [email protected]