5 March 2014
The Conservation Council of South Australia has today cautioned that increases to park ranger numbers will be meaningless if massive funding cuts to the Environment Department continue as planned.
The comment comes in response to the announcement that the SA Liberals will fund an additional 12 park rangers (above the current 88) if elected. This represents expenditure of around $1 million.
Chief Executive Craig Wilkins said: "Any additional funding to care for our precious natural spaces is warmly welcomed. However, the Environment Department that employs our park rangers is currently being hacked to pieces with a cut of nearly $40 million to its budget in the next financial year. In this context, an extra $1 million for new park rangers is likely to be lost in the wreckage”.
“Park rangers do vital work on the ground in our parks, but this work is underpinned by good policies, effective management plans and adequate scientific monitoring. When investment in these key areas is being slashed, it will be very hard for a few more park rangers to protect the health of our parks.
“We look forward to further information from the Liberal Party on whether this extra money for rangers will be part of a broader approach to improve environmental funding, or whether they will approve the current Labor Government’s approach.
"We strongly urge both Labor and Liberal to stop the slashing underway, otherwise the Environment Department as we know it will no longer exist”, Mr Wilkins concluded.
For additional media information or to arrange an interview please contact
Meg Sobey, Policy and Communications Officer on 0411 028 930