Finance Minister Mathias Cormann’s comments today that the Federal Government will take an “aggressive deregulation agenda” post-Covid19, is code for cutting corners for big business, the Greens say.
Greens Spokesperson for the Environment Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:
“Australians should be concerned that the first thing the Morrison Government will attack will be laws that protect the environment. The Greens will fight this and fight hard.
“If the Government wants to stimulate the economy post-COVID-19 it should be looking at environmental recovery and conservation and biodiversity measures as an opportunity to generate employment and enhance and protect our environment at the same time.”
“This was their agenda well before the Coronavirus but they’re setting the stage to use this crisis as an excuse for helping their mates in mining and development.
“When the Environment Minister announced the 10-yearly review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) last year, she declared it was the ‘season to cut green tape’.
“Minister Ley also said the EPBC Act Review will ‘play a significant role across a wide range of sectors, from agriculture to mining and infrastructure’ and that ‘we should protect the environment, but business must be freed from laws that strangle the economy’.
“Any move to save the economy money by speeding up environmental approvals will come at the expense of Australia’s precious natural environment.
“We need strong laws to save our natural places and native animals, especially after the devastating bushfires over summer and when we already have one of the worst extinction rates in the world.”