Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Pick out the anti-environment statements in Sussan Ley’s spiel!

Sussan Ley: I’ll be an environmentalist as minister, Guardian    14 June 19,
Sussan Ley MP says she’s prepared to fight for her portfolio – and a priority will be cutting ‘green tape’ for big projects
The new environment minister, Sussan Ley, has declared herself an “environmentalist”, saying she is prepared to fight for the environment around the cabinet table even when colleagues disagree with her.

Ley, who welcomed the Queensland government’s decision on Thursday to give the green light to the Adani coalmine, told Guardian Australia she wanted to see more action on recycling, threatened species and biodiversity protection, and a greater focus on individual action to achieve a better environment.

But in the lead-up to a 10-yearly review of the country’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, Ley has also flagged that she wants approval times for major projects cut, has left the door open to lifting the country’s ban on nuclear power, and has questioned whether land clearing is responsible for species loss.

The former health minister, who was returned to cabinet by Scott Morrison after she quit over an expenses scandal in 2017, said she saw the role as an advocacy position……

Ley welcomed the review of the EPBC Act, due in the second half of this year, saying the country’s current environmental laws were “unnecessarily arduous, complex and not productive”.

….. Along with the approvals process, a clutch of Coalition MPs have indicated they will use the EPBC Act review to have Australia’s nuclear ban removed, a push that is being backed by the Minerals Council of Australia and industry groups.

Ley said the question of nuclear power in Australia was one “where you have to listen to all of the voices” but said she was open to the review considering a removal of the ban.

“To be honest, I am not strongly for or against nuclear power. I think there are good arguments for it, and there are good arguments against it.

From the perspective of the environment it is important that it is considered, so I am not going to lead that discussion at any point of the review process. Plenty of other people will.”

Ley also made clear her views on the threat to biodiversity after a UN report warned that a million species across the world faced extinction. The minister said she was “concerned” about the problem, but questioned whether land clearing was to blame.

The Australian Conservation Foundation has estimated that there has been a loss of more than 7.4m hectares of threatened species habitat since the EPBC Act was introduced in 1999, with Australia singled out for its high rates of deforestation.

“Biodiversity and … our level of loss of species is of great concern to me,” she said.

“I really believe that the biggest threat to our threatened species is probably feral cats. Loss of habitat isn’t just land clearing, if it is land clearing at all, loss of habitat is often the wrong type of vegetation and that is often introduced weeds……

I do want my approach to the portfolio to be about what you can do, whether it be reducing plastic waste, whether it be about joining a local volunteer group, whether it be about agitating for better weeds and pest management in national parks that are near you, where you live – these are practical things that people can do and they do make a difference.”

On climate change, Ley said she was “interested” in the emissions reduction task of government which is included with the energy portfolio, under Angus Taylor, rather than environment, and said she believed the Coalition’s climate solutions fund is “where we need to be”.

“I am not going to discuss the emissions policy, that is Angus Taylor’s to discuss,”……..

Having argued during the campaign for the compliance and operational parts of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority to be split, Ley also said she would use her new role to push for changes being demanded by irrigators……..perhaps we need to work harder on that balance between environmental water and agriculture.”  https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jun/14/sussan-ley-ill-be-an-environmentalist-as-minister

June 15, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, environment, politics

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