The Government's announcement of a $128.5M environmental reform package is a blatant attempt to bypass environment protections and fast track mining project approvals.
Greens Environment Spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young said:
“The Morrison Government’s announcement is a blatant attack on our environment and wildlife. This is all about putting the profits of big mining companies and greedy developers ahead of our environment and communities, spending hundreds of millions of dollars to greenlight projects that will destroy our environment and make the climate crisis worse.
“The Parliament has previously rejected the Minister Ley’s attempts to weaken environment laws in favour of mining companies, yet now the Government wants to spend public money circumventing the will of the parliament through legal loopholes and budget trickery.
“This is sneaky policy from the Environment Minister, who is hell bent on doing the bidding of mining corporations and big developers rather than looking after the environment and our wildlife.
“We have just experienced the horrors of the climate crisis through the devasting floods in Queensland and NSW, and rather than putting more money on the table to help these communities recover, Mr. Morrison is funding the acceleration of mining projects that will make climate change worse.
“Everyday Australians will be disgusted to discover that rather than protecting our environment, the Liberal National Party is spending public money finding sneaky ways so big corporations can destroy our native bushland and clear more koala habitat for their dirty mining projects.
“This won’t go down well in the election campaign where moderate Liberals are already under huge pressure. This is a vote loser and more proof the Morrison Government can’t be trusted on the environment.
“You have to wonder why this Government bothers to have a ‘Minister for the Environment’ at all? This new ‘budget reform package’ effectively hands environmental approvals over to the Minister for Resources, a Nationals MP who happens to be a climate change sceptic.
“On a day when the Environment Minister will be celebrating the Federal Court ruling that she does not have a duty of care to protect young people, it is clear the lack of regard this Government has for the futures of our children and the environment.
“The Greens will fight this tooth and nail.”