Australian government "most hostile to the environment"

"BREATHTAKING AND RELENTLESS". 

Even the ostriches are impressed...

Even the ostriches are impressed...

Those are the words used by a mainstream politician to describe the Tony Abbott government's savage approach to the Australian and global environments, in a formal submission on Monday to Australia's national parliament.

In a parliamentary speech that must have shaken the building's rafters, the Honorable Kelvin Thomson repeatedly decried the Abbott government as "the most hostile to the environment in nearly 50 years" in Australia.

Thomson, the Member of Parliament for the Division of Wills in Victoria, laid out a barrage of environmental complaints against the Abbott government.  These include efforts to:

- Carve out 74,000 hectares of World Heritage forest in Tasmania for industrial logging

- refusing to include climate change on the agenda of the forthcoming G20 global leaders summit in Brisbane, despite urging from many other nations

- approving plans to dump 3 million tons of sediment in the Great Barrier Reef -- a move that might have the iconic ecosystem declared a World Heritage Area in Danger

- gutting federal environmental protections in favor of a 'one-stop shop' that would devolve responsibility for environmental matters to the Australian states, many of which are stridently pro-development

One might expect members of the Australian Green Party to castigate the Abbott government's environmental stance.  But when a centrist like Kelvin Thomson feels compelled to speak out so forcefully, one realizes we really have entered the dark ages Down Under.


Green groups in 'desperate' bid to halt Australian eco-calamity

DESPERATE.  That's about the only word that could describe the last-ditch efforts of Australian green groups to slow the Tony Abbott government's relentless march to push business and development interests, no matter the environmental cost.

Greenies are feeling blue Down Under...

Greenies are feeling blue Down Under...

Having had no luck at all in influencing the Abbott government, a coalition of Australian environmental groups are now imploring the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity -- a longstanding global accord to which Australia is a signatory --- to censure the government for its anti-environmental ways.

Specifically, the green groups want the CBD to slam the Abbott government's scheme for a so-called 'one-stop shop' -- a greatly simplified way to approve environmentally risky projects by devolving responsibility to the individual Australian states, where pro-development interests usually have more sway.

it's a formula for disaster, say conservationists, especially given the conservative nature of many Australian state governments right now.

Such measures are likely to lead to lower environmental standards, conflicted decision-making, and ultimately a loss of biodiversity -- all of which are contrary to Australia's commitments under the CBD, say conservationists.

Having exhausted virtually every possible avenue within Australia, conservationists are now being forced to look abroad for help.

It's a sign of the times and -- as summarized in this excellent essay by ALERT member Corey Bradshaw on his ConservationBytes site -- a telling indication of just how bad things have gotten for the Australian environment.