NSW Greens MP Sue Higginson has called on the State Government to invest properly in National Parks instead of spending big on infrastructure that does little to protect and build these important sanctuaries.
The NSW Budget handed down today offers big dollars to tourism in National Parks and promises improved conservation outcomes but it does little to address the real threats to protected areas and does nothing to the much needed building of our protected area network.
"It is good that the NSW Government goes some way to recognising the importance of our National Park estate but this announcement in the budget is an attempt to monetise National Parks like the Gondwana Rainforests instead of providing real and meaningful investment,"
“The Government is not reading the science or the room. We are in a climate and an extinction crisis, investing in increasing and building the resilience of our National Parks estate is essential in averting these crises and we need to do it this decade”
"Fragile and ancient ecosystems like the Gondwana Rainforests need to be preserved for their inherent value as biodiversity refuges and carbon sinks instead of aiming to monetise these areas at the cost of degrading ecological values,"
"Getting people into our National Parks is great for people and great for building awareness of the importance of these special places but high level human activity in pristine areas also runs the risk of damage and contamination by invasive species,"
"If the NSW Government really wanted to improve outcomes for National Parks and people then they would be supporting building new reserves and interconnected reserves such as the Great Koala National Park that would make the National Park system stronger, more connected more resilient and cohesive,"
“The white elephant in the budget is the failure to admit that native forestry operations that happen on the edge of and in areas between National Parks are an enormous threat to the future viability of threatened species and protected places and a funded transition plan for logging operations would do a lot more to preserve our precious protected area network.
"The Government needs to get real about the state-wide transition out of public native forestry so that our precious protected area estate can grow and be there for the future."