Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Climate Change spokesperson
After the hottest summer in the state’s history and fires that devastated communities and the wilderness, the Liberals have delivered a climate denial Budget.
The summer’s bushfires are still scorched in the memories of many Tasmanians. This State Budget completely ignores the distressing reality of an ever heating climate.
Funding to the State Climate Office is cut by $600,000, with no funds after 2021 for a Climate Action Plan.
The State Emergency Service, Remote Area Teams and emergency service volunteers all have funding cuts in a time of an accelerating climate crisis. In the out years, funding for RATs and volunteers dries up completely.
On top of this profound climate denialism, funding for bushfire management in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, to improve knowledge and suppress wildfires, runs out after two years.
While the Federal Government has chipped in to cover some of the costs of this past summer’s devastating bushfires, there is no recognition anywhere in the Budget or the Treasurer’s speech that the costs of extreme weather events are likely to soar, year on year, into the future.
Does the Treasurer believe the climate crisis is a hoax?
With a dry El Nino Summer forecast, how can the Hodgman Government justify these cuts?
Meanwhile, with scientists warning us of an extinction crisis, funding for threatened species is slashed across the forward estimates. The essential work of Landcare to sustain soils, farmland and biodiversity is cut, and then defunded altogether in the later years.
Despite millions of new dollars being allocated for recreational boating and fishing, there is no money towards reversing the huge native fish declines in Tasmanian waters. There’s nothing to halt the impending loss of all the East Coast’s rocky reefs, or to respond to invasive marine species.
The escalating tidal wave of plastic marine debris from fish farms and unfettered land sources has no funding to aid prevention or enforcement.
A paltry $250,000 is directed towards energy-efficiency upgrades, but big rebates are provided for large energy users to help buffer them the costs of the Federal Liberals’ failed national energy policies.
The last few days in State Parliament have shown the Hodgman Liberals’ wilful denial of the climate emergency. Tasmanians who want reassurance their government recognises, and is prepared to act and protect them from, the threat of global heating would be disturbed by this year’s State Budget.
It’s clear the dominant climate inaction faction of the Hodgman Government are the ones with their hands on the purse strings.