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Newman Govt End-of-Term Report gets fail mark on environment


  • The Newman Government gets a big ‘fail’ on the environment, according to an End-of-Term Report prepared by the Wilderness Society.
  • LNP has failed to protect nature, rivers, bush and the Great Barrier Reef, and is failing the people of Queensland by taking away their rights to object to major destructive developments.
  • Newman Government has ditched Wild Rivers laws that protected our rivers, weakened the land-clearing laws protecting the bush, and approved port expansion threatening the Great Barrier Reef, our greatest natural icon.

A review of the environmental policy performance of the Campbell Newman-led Liberal National Government in Queensland since its election in March 2012 has been released today.  The ‘End of Term Report’ compiled by The Wilderness Society considers ten key areas of nature protection and conservation priorities, and reviews what the Liberal National Party said prior to the last Queensland election, and what it has done in government.

“With the first term of the Newman LNP Government almost up, it’s a good time to check in on its performance as far as the environment is concerned”, said Dr Tim Seelig, Wilderness Society Queensland Campaigns Manager.

 “Our review has examined ten key environmental policy areas, including rivers protection, land clearing, the Great Barrier Reef, national parks, and renewable energy and climate change, and across the board, it is clear that the Newman Government has taken us backwards not forwards.

“In short, the Newman LNP Government in Queensland has failed the environment, and has failed Queenslanders by not protecting their natural heritage.

“There has been a systematic winding back of environmental laws and nature protections under Campbell Newman, and his government has been missing in action on climate change and support for solar and renewables.

“Instead, Mr Newman has proudly stated that he’s ‘in the coal business’, and his government has pursued an agenda of removing or weakening existing environmental protections. We have seen repeal of the Wild Rivers Act, substantial changes to land clearing laws, and removal of third party appeals against large development projects.

“And while we have seen nothing on addressing climate change, Mr Newman has offered to spend hundreds of millions of dollars from public funds to prop up rail infrastructure for one of the world’s biggest coal mines.

“If this was a school end of term report, Mr Newman and his government would be given a series of fail marks by their teachers for performance on the environment”.

Although the focus of the review report is on the LNP, some of the positions of the Labor Opposition and the Greens about the same issues are also referenced.

The Wilderness Society expects that environmental issues such as protecting the Great Barrier Reef, protecting Queensland’s unique nature, and supporting renewable energy will feature strongly in the upcoming state election.

“This review of performance over the current term of government represents a blunt statement about the LNP’s lack of practical commitment to the environment.  It has a long way to go to be anywhere near credible at the next election on protecting nature and addressing climate change”, added Dr Seelig.

“The Labor Opposition also has work to do in providing a clear policy plan for the environment and climate.

The Wilderness Society’s End-of-Term Report is being distributed to its tens of thousands of its members and supporters in Queensland later today, and further distribution of its main message will be delivered to several Brisbane electorates.

Download the report here.