By Terri Butler MP and Josh Wilson MP

13 October 2020

The Morrison Government has failed the environment in its 2020 Budget.

This was a Budget full of recycled announcements, emphasising that this Government is always there for the photo op but never there for the follow up.
For example, in July the Minister for Environment announced the $190 million Recycling Modernisation Fund. It was re-announced last week.
Meanwhile, last year’s $100 million Recycling Investment Fund has not advanced a single dollar, and last year’s $20 million National Product Stewardship Investment Fund has not made a single grant.
Even though the Morrison Government recently announced a new ten year threatened species strategy, there is no new money for it.
This is a major issue with Australia being a world leader in extinctions, sixty percent of listed species lacking a recovery plan, and the Morrison Government failing to monitor the implementation of the plans that do exist.
The funding for Commonwealth National Parks was another recycled announcement. The government needs to stop announcing it and get onto delivering it.
They have a lot of ground to make up following the scathing report into its mismanagement of the parks, the recent resignation of the Director of National Parks, and relationships with traditional owners reaching breaking point in Kakadu.
Last summer’s national bushfire crisis killed or displaced around three billion animals and more than twelve million hectares of land was burnt.
Yet less than two-third of the announced “emergency” wildlife recovery funding has even made it out of the Government’s coffers. And the next bushfire season is already starting.
The remainder of the wildlife funding – another reannouncement in the Budget – needs to get out the door. It won’t save a single koala if the Morrison Government doesn’t spend it.
The Budget also contained a further admission that it has been Liberal-National funding cuts that are causing the massive delays in major project decision-making under the EPBC Act, with the Government allocating a further $12.4 million to try to fix the mismanagement and delays that its own cuts had caused.
It is startling that despite racking up a trillion dollars in debt the Government has failed to address the biodiversity crisis which threatens our precious natural environment and our prosperity.