LABOR JOINS WITH GOVERNMENT TO VOTE AGAINST NEW NATIONAL PARK ADDITIONS

The NSW Greens have expressed disappointment that late last night the Labor Party voted with the Liberal-National Government to vote down Greens amendments to add over 200,000 hectares of high conservation value state forests to the National Parks estate.  This included the establishment of a Great Koala National Park on the mid-north coast and ensuring protections for the iconic Gardens of Stone in the Blue Mountains.

The move followed reports that a plan to reserve up to 75,000 hectares of State Forests with high conservation values as National Parks was dumped by Gladys Berejiklian because of pressure from the National Party.

“It was incredibly disappointing last night to see the Labor Party vote with the dinosaurs in the National Party to oppose vital new National Parks additions,” said Greens MP Cate Faehrmann.

“Since the Liberals came to power we have seen a 94% reduction in average annual additions to our National Parks estate, a massive increase in deforestation and a koala plan which fails to protect koalas.”

“Faced with climate change and unprecedented losses of global biodiversity, we should be embracing an ambitious and visionary plan to expand our National Parks.  That is why the Greens are moved amendments in parliament to add over 200,000 hectares of high conservation value state forests to the National Parks estate,” Ms Faehrmann said.

Greens MP and member for Balmain Jamie Parker, who introduced amendments to the Legislative Assembly to protect the Gardens of Stone in the Blue Mountains and create a Great Koala Park on the NSW mid-north coast, said:

“Our community expects so much more from both Labor and the Liberals when it comes to protecting koala habitat and iconic landscapes. It was very disappointing that the Labor Party joined with the Liberals and Nationals to oppose protecting the Gardens of Stone and the Great Koala National Park.

“The Greens are making an ambitious plan to expand our National Parks and save koalas from extinction a key part of our election platform,” Mr Parker said.

Contact: Jack Gough for Cate Faehrmann – 9230 3168 or 0427 713 101

Eleanor Nurse for Jamie Parker – 0409 757254 or 9660 7586

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