Monday, August 27, 2012

Troubling State Government Plans for Development in National Parks

The Baillieu Government’s plan to allow ninety-nine-year leases for private sector development in Victorian national parks should ring alarm bells with the public.

The State Government says it is supporting the tourism industry by allowing this private sector development, and that such developments will need to be sensitive to the environment, but the recent track record of State Liberal governments on protecting national parks or the environment in general does not engender confidence.

The Baillieu Government had only been in power 5 minutes when it allowed the resumption of cattle grazing in the Alpine National Park, the O’Farrell New South Wales Liberal Government has permitted shooting in that state’s national parks, and the Newman Queensland LNP Government claimed in May this year that the protections for koalas in Queensland were 'needless duplication' and 'mindless green tape', despite overwhelming science that the Queensland koala has taken a massive hit over the last 20 years.

I strongly oppose the idea of permitting ninety-nine-year leases. I believe it is improper and undemocratic – it denies the community the right to say no to these developments, if the community disapproves of the commercialisation of national parks and votes out the government which has done this, it is still confronted with the legal reality of a 99 year lease. No Parliament should be able to find a successor Parliament in this way.

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