Natural Resources: Forests, Mining and Fisheries | Australian Greens

Natural Resources: Forests, Mining and Fisheries

Manage resources taking into account intergenerational equity, biodiversity conservation and respect for traditional ownership.

Principles

The Australian Greens believe that:

  1. Australia's natural resources must be managed in accordance with the principles of intergenerational equity, the precautionary principle, biodiversity conservation and respect for the traditional ownership of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  2. Resource extraction decisions must be guided by rigorous independent environmental and social impact assessment.
  3. Climate change must be a central consideration in the management of forests, fisheries and mining.
  4. Native forests have immense natural, cultural and economic values which must be protected. Logging seriously damages or destroys these values.
  5. Coal mining and unconventional gas — including coal seam gas, shale gas, tight gas and shale oil mining and underground coal gasification — pose unacceptable risks to Australia's land, water and industries, such as agriculture, grazing and tourism.
  6. Soil is a valuable natural resource and, as such, must be managed in a manner which maintains and replenishes soil fertility and health.
  7. Just transition assistance should be provided to communities and workers affected by job transitions towards sustainable industries.

Aims — Forestries, Plantation and Wood Products

The Australian Greens want:

  1. Recognition of the essential role played by mature forest ecosystems in wildlife habitat, carbon storage, water supply, recreation and tourism.
  2. A sustainable and productive wood products industry from plantations and farm forestry that creates long-term skilled jobs and social sustainability in regional communities.
  3. The immediate protection of old-growth and high conservation value forests.
  4. A prohibition on use of native forests for electricity generation.
  5. An end to the export of woodchips and whole logs from native forests.
  6. An end to tax arrangements which advantage plantations over other crops.
  7. World's best practice, certified, farm-scale plantation forestry.
  8. Plantations with a diversity of species rather than monocultures.
  9. Plantations and farm forestry practices where the use of pesticides and fertilisers are minimised and controlled.
  10. Nomination of Australia's qualifying high conservation value forests for listing on the National or World Heritage registers.
  11. Abolition of the Regional Forest Agreements and equal treatment of forests, plantations and the wood production industry with other activities under environmental law.
  12. To complete the transition from native forest logging to plantations, including retraining and other assistance for workers, and the development of sustainable alternative fibre industries.
  13. An immediate end to broad-scale land clearing to protect biodiversity and to arrest soil loss, river degradation and salinity.
  14. The management of re-growth forest to an old growth state to maximise biodiversity, carbon uptake and water yield, and for recreation and tourism, which are more valuable outcomes than logging.
  15. The revegetation of land, including salt affected land, with biodiverse native vegetation which can provide carbon sinks, hydrological management and biodiversity restoration.

Aims — Fisheries

The Australian Greens want:

  1. The management of recreational and commercial fisheries under a national framework to maintain sustainable fish populations and fisheries, and to minimise negative environmental impacts of fishing.
  2. An evidence-based strategy to establish and maintain adequate, representative and comprehensive 'no-take' areas in all marine bioregions for the conservation of marine biodiversity, fish nursery habitat and fish stocks.
  3. The continuation by Australia of its proactive stance on illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, including assisting in the development of alternative employment opportunities for impoverished communities that rely on the illegal trade.
  4. A national framework for the assessment and regulation of environmentally-benign aquaculture developments based on ecosystems management principles.
  5. A moratorium on deep-sea bottom trawling in Australian waters and reduction in by-catch in all trawl fisheries.
  6. A ban on all large factory-freezer vessels in the small pelagic fisheries.
  7. Sustainable employment transition programs to assist commercial fishers and people employed in associated industries affected by changes in marine management practices.
  8. Recognition of the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as traditional custodians and protectors of marine resources, their sea country rights and their rights to cultural fishing and an increase in their involvement in marine areas planning, management and decision making.

Aims — Mining and Mineral Exploration, including Coal Seam Gas

The Australian Greens want:

  1. A robust economy built on diverse sectors and not reliant on any one sector for its prosperity.
  2. A mining and mineral exploration sector that meets stringent environmental protection standards and delivers both long and short term benefits to the wider Australian community.
  3. A requirement that all mining activity be subject to rights, desires and needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  4. Legislation that recognises that mining is incompatible with all other land uses and therefore needs to be rigorously assessed before being approved.
  5. Accurate and independent environmental, health and social impact assessments addressing the true environmental, social and economic costs and benefits, rigorously applied and implemented on all mining proposals and projects.
  6. Rigorous independent ongoing monitoring and compliance with undertakings and legal obligations of all mining projects including during the rehabilitation phase.
  7. The prohibition of mineral exploration and mining including the extraction of petroleum and gas, in residential areas, good quality agricultural land and terrestrial and marine nature conservation reserves, national parks, wilderness areas and other areas of high nature conservation value.
  8. No new coal seam, shale or tight gas, shale oil or underground coal gasification developments, given the short and long term risks to our water, land, communities, the climate, food production and marine areas.
  9. The prohibition of both new coal mines and the expansion of existing mines.
  10. The cessation of all existing underground coal gasification projects.
  11. Ongoing independent research and monitoring of existing coal seam gas, shale and tight gas projects, especially those which involve fracking, to ensure they are not causing significant damage to aquifers, and withdrawal of approval of those projects if damage is occurring.
  12. To strengthen rights for landholders regarding access, negotiation, appeal and compensation rights in all their dealings with mining and resources companies.
  13. The inclusion in all new mining proposals of a fully costed and funded allocation for the restoration and rehabilitation of the impacted areas to world's best practice standards, verified by open and transparent means.
  14. Prohibition on the exploration for, and mining and export of, uranium.