North Coast Greens MP Dawn Walker has criticised the NSW 2018-2019 State Budget saying it falls short of what the North Coast community expect from a Government, especially when it comes to protecting the environment.
“Protecting our precious natural environment is consistently identified as one of the highest priorities by people living on the North Coast in survey after survey, yet this Government has only allocated an appalling 1.6% of their total budget expenditure to environmental protection across NSW” said Dawn Walker MP.
“It’s disgraceful that we live in the most biodiverse part of NSW here on the North Coast, yet this State Government is totally reckless when it comes to environmental protection. For instance, koalas have declined by 50% in the last 20 years on the North Coast and the Government’s response is to plough highways through their precious habitat and create a few small reserves that are already degraded from past logging operations.
“I’m also very concerned about the future of Murwillumbah TAFE with the Government allocating money for a scaled-down digital shopfront in Murwillumbah that will no doubt result in the closure of Murwillumbah TAFE campus and a real loss of hands-on, practical skills training for our community, as it has in other towns where they have built a Connected Learning Centre.
“This budget also shows the Liberal-National Government have no credible plan to address climate change or promote renewable energy.
“We are living with climate disruption now. Every day the NSW Government delays in taking action to address climate change causes risk to people, communities and our environment. We’ve recently seen the damage from severe flooding across the North Coast that will worsen due to climate change.
“The NSW Liberal-National Government has ensured NSW remains one of the largest coal exporting regions anywhere on the planet and have plans for new and expanding fossil fuel projects, from coal to coal seam gas across NSW.
“This budget is built on a decade of privatisations that have increased the costs of living and delayed critical action to reduce the state’s carbon footprint and respond to climate disruption.
“This budget locks in privatised roads in the city, wasteful sport stadium rebuilds and does little to address our housing affordability crisis, continues growing inequality and has no plan for creating a more fair and caring society.
“The Greens take the view that our economy should serve people rather than the other way around” said Dawn Walker MP.