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SA environment at risk if Weatherill signs up to Abbott's environmental plan

Media Release
Penny Wright 12 Dec 2013

The Weatherill Government must refuse to adopt Prime Minister Abbott's plan to gut national environment protection at COAG tomorrow, says Australian Greens Senator for South Australia Senator Penny Wright.

Federal Labor representatives voted with the Greens yesterday to call on the Weatherill Government to reject the move.

"Tony Abbott wants to take away a 30-year-old federal veto power to protect our most precious wildlife and wilderness," South Australian Greens Senator, Penny Wright, said.  

"South Australia has seen firsthand the importance of federal intervention in environmental matters through the decades of upstream over-extraction of the Murray.

"This is a destructive plan which would jeopardise South Australia's precious places, including Kangaroo Island and the Coorong.

"Now Tony Abbott is rounding up state governments to have them take on federal responsibility for the environment at the Council of Australian Governments meeting in Canberra tomorrow."

Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said Tony Abbott's plan to hand federal protections to state governments risked our most iconic places and wildlife across the country.

"National icons loved by all Australians deserve national protection, to preserve them in the national interest.

"Not only does Tony Abbott's plan do away with decades of national environment protection now and into the future, it means much more work for state environment departments, many of which have suffered severe job losses.

 "Handing over federal powers also opens up state governments to court action that previously federal governments would be responsible for, especially as international environment treaties are involved in these major approval decisions."

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