Government Gives Non-Answer Over State-Wide Declines in Vegetation

Thursday, 14 August 2014

A government minister representing the environment has ignored a question in Parliament asked by Robin Chapple MLC regarding a decline in the percentage of vegetation cover over several local shires east of Perth.

The question was used to highlight a similar decline in funding for Natural Resource Management from $30M in 2012, to $20M in 2013, to $24M over the next three years from 2014.

Mr Chapple said the government provided a non-answer by simply repeating the figure of $24M over the next three years.

“I asked the question why was funding declining when the long term pattern showed that vegetation cover was also declining,” he said.

“The response I got did not answer the question and completely missed the point.”

Mr Chapple said the government was contradicting itself on the matter by stating it was committed to “continuing to support projects to ensure the protection, restoration and sustainable use of Western Australia's natural resources”.

“Let me break down this funding model; it’s pretty simple maths,” he said.

“$24 million over the next three years is equivalent to $8 million worth of funding per year.

“That’s $12 million less funding than 2013 and $22 million less funding than 2012.

“This does not represent ‘continued support’ for ‘protection, restoration and sustainable use’ as the government has claimed, but a total lack of commitment to Western Australia’s unique natural resources.”

Data on vegetation cover in the shires concerned, provided by the Department of Parks and Wildlife, can be found here.

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255.

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