Monday 13th June 2016 - 1:27 pm

Disbelief greets reef plan

by Alan Thornhill

There has been a sceptical response to the Federal government’s offer to spend $1 billion to save the Great Barrier Reef.

 

The Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull,   and his Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, made the offer official today, with a joint announcement in Queensland.

 

Mr Turnbull said the reef had long been “…a great passion for both Greg Hunt and myself.

 

“As one of his predecessors as Environment Minister I took a great interest in the Great Barrier Reef years ago and always have done,” the Prime Minister said.

 

“Now what we are announcing today is the largest single investment in protecting the reef in particular in addressing these land side problems of run off,” he added.

 

“This is to allocate a $1 billion fund from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation which will be available for projects that will both reduce emissions, use clean energy and, of course, protect the ree,” Mr Turnbull said.

 

But  Labor’s environment spokesman, Mark Butler, was not convinced.

“Malcolm Turnbull claims he has made the biggest ever investment in the Great Barrier Reef,” Mr Butler said.
“But it is really just the biggest ever con job.

 

“It provides no new investment.

 

“It is just a redirection of existing resources.

“This is spin and political desperation on a grand scale.

 

“For three years we have seen the Abbott-Turnbull Government duck, weave and avoid doing anything meaningful to address climate change,” Mr Butler said.

 

The Greens and a citizens’ organisation shared  that view.

 

The Deputy Leader of the Greens, Queensland Senator Larissa Waters, said: “this is a sneaky attempt by the Turnbull Government to try to distract from the damage it is doing to the Reef by approving coal mines to export out through the Reef and cook its corals.

 

“All of this money is taken from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the government hasn’t specified how much will go to clean energy and how much will go to water quality,” Senator Waters added.

 

The Solar Citizen’s organisation was also unimpresse3d.

 

“No matter what they try and tell the Australian public, this government has no coherent plan for the shift to clean renewable power beyond 2020.

 

“These sort of politically driven, piecemeal policies will end up with us responding to emergencies rather t saidhan building a decent plan for our future energy needs,” Claire O’Rourke, National Director of Solar Citizens.

 


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