Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

NSW Government, green or brown?

“By the end of this week citizens of NSW will see either a greener government with natural resources regulation retained by the Environment Minister Phil Koperberg or a reversal of Premier Iemma's original departmental arrangements in favour of Resources Minister, Ian Macdonald,” said Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

While Premier Iemma has been away, resource interests have been manoeuvring for a return of resource regulation to the Minister for Primary Industries, Ian Macdonald MP,” said Mr Muir.

“It is more logical to align the environmental regulation of water, native vegetation, private forests and marine parks with the environment minister, rather than the resource minister. The farmers, loggers, fishers would, however, prefer a more partisan approach where the minister for promoting their interests is also responsible for regulation”, he said.

“The deferral of the implementation of new departmental arrangements till the end of this week has resulted in continued squabbling, with Mark Aarons, a key player in the Premier's Office, a victim of these heightened tensions”, Mr Muir said.

“A reversal to the previous arrangements would see a continuation of unsuccessful natural resource management strategies, where increasingly scarce resources become degraded rather than conserved,” he said.

“If Premier Iemma caves in to the resource interests it would mark the beginning of the end for the State Plan, the Government's sustainability blueprint for NSW. We hope that he sticks to his guns, as he has in the past,” said Mr Muir.

For more information contact: Keith Muir, (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 9550 3615 (ah)