Currumbin Wildlife Hospital
Currumbin Wildlife Hospital

Politicians fail to face facts on environment

TWO media headlines in early October summed up the divide that exists across the world when it comes to caring for our environment.

The first, Barilaro ignored pleas to protect koalas after bushfires, insisted logging continue, came hard on the heels of his threatening to destroy the Coalition Government unless new legislation to protect koalas was scrapped.

The recommendations Mr Barilaro overrode were from the Environmental Protection Authority in response to the disastrous bushfire season. Those fires decimated koala populations all along the east coast, so the EPA called for a halt to logging in the Lower Bucca, and other North Coast state forests to offset the short term loss of koala habitat.

However, rather than agreeing to pause logging from March, the deputy premier reportedly intervened and insisted Forestry Corp fulfill its contracts. Logging resumed immediately.

The second headline, World leaders pledge to halt Earth’s destruction ahead of UN summit, offers some hope for the environment, with 64 countries promising to put wildlife and climate at the heart of post-Covid recovery plans.

However, while the leaders of France, Germany, New Zealand, Canada and UK are among those signing the Pledge for Nature, Australia is not one of them, seemingly following the US which has also declined to sign.

The pledge was triggered by a United Nations report early in September, showing the world had failed to meet a single target to slow the loss of the natural world for the second consecutive decade. These goals included protection of coral reefs, natural habitats, and a reduction in plastic and chemical waste.

Fast forward a fortnight, and two more headlines appear.

The first, Environmental science hit with severe funding cuts in Coalition universities overhaul, announced a 30 per cent cut in the federal budget.

The second, NSW will allow land to be cleared up to 25m from property boundary, citing bushfire concerns, highlights something that was not recommended by the Bushfire Inquiry.

So, the Coalition’s environmental philosophy is clear, we can’t let the environment get in the way of a dollar and scientists only get in the way.

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