MEDIA RELEASE: Funding the environment is investing in our future

MEDIA RELEASE

19 November 2013

Conservation Council SA, The Wilderness Society and Nature Conservation Society SA have launched their state election campaign, calling on the major political parties to prioritise and invest in the protection of our environment.

Download the South Australian Environment Groups 2014 State Election Asks, and background document.

Top of the list is to double the environment portfolio's proportion of the state budget within the next term of government.

"The environment portfolio now receives only 2.24% of the total state budget, which is set to drop even further in the next few years," said incoming Conservation Council SA Chief Executive Craig Wilkins.

"In 2013-14 the entire environment portfolio received funding of $363 million - while $535 million was spent on the single project of redeveloping Adelaide Oval.

"The most recent State of the Environment Report 2013 revealed serious declines in the state's natural health, with 90% of the indicators poor or very poor."

"While we're spending up big on infrastructure, we're allowing our natural infrastructure to decay - the very foundations our state is built on."

"Funding the environment is investing in our future," Mr Wilkins said.

"Our wellbeing is dependent on a healthy, functioning environment and a safe, stable climate. It is essential for a strong, resilient and prosperous South Australia" said Matthew Turner, Environmental Scientist at The Wilderness Society.

"There is an urgent need for our leaders to increase efforts to protect and restore our environment, and to commit to strong action on climate change that the community is demanding."

"South Australians do not want our legacy to be further declines of natural ecosystems, wildlife extinctions and devastating climate change," said Nature Conservation Society of SA's Conservation Programs Manager Stuart Collard.

"We will hold the candidates to account for how they will value our environment and our future," Conservation Council SA's Mr Wilkins said.

The major parties will be surveyed for their responses to the election asks.

Release Ends

For additional media information or to arrange an interview please contact Meg Sobey, Policy and Communications Officer, on 0411 028 930


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