Coalition in the hot seat

Coalition in the hot seat

29.11.2010 - Posted by Kane Travis
The Victorian State election was held on Saturday and the electorate sent a significant message that they are not happy with the current Labor government. With a 6 per cent drop in Labor primary vote it is now down to postal votes and the ABC election computer is predicting the Coalition will form government. With a change imminent it is time to have another look at the views and commitment to the natural environment in Victoria by the Coalition government

Let’s start with the most disappointing, which is the reintroduction of ‘strategic’ cattle grazing into Victoria’s high country. That issue has been a long battle over many years and unfortunately likely to be unwound with one sweep of the policy wand.
The coalition will also retain Victoria’s ten catchment management authorities (CMAs) and three coastal boards. This policy is aligned with the notion of ensuring local input and representation in decision making about our catchments. I have no firm view if this is good or bad, but unfortunately it means that the hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of hours that have been invested by our CMA and DSE staff who have been planning the mergers over the past year, have been a wasted effort.

Moving into more positive territory, the coalition will increase Landcare funding by $12 million to help fund 60 Landcare co-ordinators across Victoria, and help fill the hole left by a reduction of investment by the federal government. The Coalition will also allocate another $10 million to the Gippsland Lakes for continuing support of the Gippsland Lakes Rescue Package.

Finally there is the unexpected decision to commit $6 million to the City of Kingston to dredge, clean up and begin maintaining the Mordialloc Creek. This funding is intended to be the first step to restoring the Mordialloc Creek and making it ‘one of the jewels of the bay again’.

Most unfortunately of all is that this really is the end of the list. It's disappointing that there is no real strategic vision for the protection and enhancement of our natural environment and a pledge of around $30M is a very small amount of the $7.6 billion over four years outlined by the Coalition. You can read all the Coalition polices in detail at http://www.liberalvictoria.org.au/guest/policies.aspx

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