Protecting the Environment | Australian Greens

Protecting the Environment

The Greens are committed to creating an ecologically sustainable future, integrating social, economic and ecological imperatives into public policy.

The Greens are committed to creating an ecologically sustainable future, integrating social, economic and ecological imperatives into public policy. We want to ensure that future generations can enjoy a world as rich and complex as the one we currently enjoy.

An overwhelming majority of people in South Australia support protecting our wild, scenic and natural places together with the native plants and animals that live in them. So how is it that we keep electing governments that support fracking our farmland, bulldozing our bushland, plundering our sea life and draining our rivers? The Greens are your genuine alternative to business-as-usual politics that destroy the planet. Voting is powerful and democracy, done well, can change our world for the better.

The Greens will continue to fight climate change, and we are the only ones willing to stand up to the big polluters and the gas industry. The Greens are the genuine alternative to the old parties who want nuclear waste in our north, unconventional gas in the south east, and to pump our Murray River dry.

Electricity That Doesn't Cost The Earth

It’s time for South Australians to take back the power. Solutions to bring down prices whilst maintaining energy security and reducing our emissions are readily available, but the Government needs to stand up to the big end of town and put people ahead of power company profits. Not only are renewables the best energy solution for the climate, but they are now the cheapest form of new generation. By eliminating expensive and dirty gas and coal, we can drive electricity prices down while protecting the climate. The Greens stand with the community for a clean energy future powered by 100% renewable energy.

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Water

As the driest state, in the driest inhabited continent on Earth, South Australia has the chance to lead on water innovation, security and resilience. The River Murray, our traditional water source for Adelaide, is in a critical state. Unsustainable extraction means not enough water is flowing to the Lower Lakes and Coorong in dry periods. All forecasted climate change scenarios show this will only get worse. Meanwhile, millions of litres of stormwater that falls from our skies are diverted out to sea where silt and nutrient load damages the marine environment. Billions of litres of additional, nutrient-laden wastewater are flushed out to sea every year, killing our seagrasses. This water should be diverted, captured, filtered, purified and stored for later reuse. Adelaide’s extensive network of underground aquifers is perfect for this task. The Greens know that there are genuine alternatives for a safe and secure water supply that doesn’t cost the earth, and we have ambitious plans to waterproof our state. We’ve also been the only party standing against the dredging at Outer Harbor, and have consistently been demanding transparency.

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Beyond Waste

The Greens envisage a future without waste. Currently our society does not appropriately value resources, and market mechanisms facilitate the perpetuation of a throwaway culture. As part of this we continue to accept the over-consumption of finite raw materials, planned obsolescence, waste in our manufacturing processes, unnecessary packaging, single-use disposable items, and the resulting social, environmental, and economic cost. Enhanced recovery of discarded materials presents considerable potential to positively contribute to climate change and sustainability solutions, but it also has the potential to create jobs within a sustainable economy. This really is a win-win for people and planet.

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No Nuclear

Nuclear power is expensive, dirty and dangerous and isn’t the answer to climate change. Renewables are safer, cleaner and cheaper. While nuclear medicine is important, there are smarter ways to produce medical isotopes that don’t result in nuclear reactor waste. Medical grade waste can be stored on site. Recognising that a nuclear-free world is a safer world, The Greens have legislated to ban nuclear waste dumps being built in SA.

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Reducing Bushfire Risk

Bushfire risk is part of the Australian landscape. However, extreme fire weather danger has increased since the 1970s. The risk of severe bushfires will continue to increase due to climate change. The Greens believe the preservation of human life is paramount. We must protect human life and preserve our built and natural assets. A well-resourced emergency services sector is an essential asset for a safer community. We are committed to ongoing, well-funded education and training programs for those who live in high-risk areas, to ensure communities become “fire smart” and are adequately prepared for a bushfire. We want to boost resourcing to properly recruit, train and equip our Country Fire Service brigades. The Greens will also replace mandatory burn quotas with evidence-based, fluctuating hazard reduction burns to reduce fuel loads at appropriate times in bushfire prone areas.

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Balancing Land Use

Only The Greens are prepared to stand up to the big mining companies and act to protect our climate, precious farmland and regional communities. There are many known risks to our underground and surface water resources from gas mining. There are also public health and climate risks from “fugitive emissions” which might be some distance from the gas wells. To protect land, water, climate and communities, The Greens have introduced legislation to ban gas exploration and extraction in all farming lands, urban lands, and conservation areas throughout SA, as well as a ban in all other areas where it might impact on critical water resources. We also have also introduced legislation to ban Underground Coal Gasification in South Australia, following the lead of Queensland where a ban is already in place.

View our unconventional gas policy

The Greens SA - The Genuine Alternative

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