The Australian Greens welcome reports that the Palmer United Party will block Tony Abbott’s plan to hand federal environmental approval powers to state governments, including the Newman Government, and call on Mr Palmer to confirm this is his final voting position.
“Given Mr Palmer’s ongoing criticism of the Newman Government it is entirely consistent that PUP would vote against the legislation to facilitate Tony Abbott’s one-stop shop of environmental destruction, which would hand Mr Newman more power,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.
“We’re relieved that after weeks of negotiations with the crossbenchers, it appears we have secured enough support to save our national environmental laws from Tony Abbott and Campbell Newman.
“The Greens have been campaigning against the devolution of federal approval powers for almost three years, since the then-Labor government originally proposed the idea, before backing down.
“I dearly hope that soon we will be able to celebrate our federal environment laws being protected from Tony Abbott by the Senate.
“Our federal environment laws protect our most precious places, like the Great Barrier Reef and the Kimberley, and our most iconic species, like bilbies and koalas.
“It would be environmentally disastrous for them to be handed over to the very state premiers, who are threatening our national parks with shooting, logging and mining.
“Without federal environment protections in the past, there would be oil rigs in the Great Barrier Reef and the Franklin River would be dammed,” Senator Waters said.