Australian Prime Minister hates national parks

This video is about Australia’s National Parks.

Australian right wing Prime Minister Tony Abbott is very chummy with equally right wing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; especially when they together promote militarism.

However, while the Japanese Abe administration recently at least proclaimed one new national park, Abbott looks like he wants to out-Abe Abe in a race ever more to the extreme right.

From Wildlife Extra:

Australian PM outrages with anti national parks stance

March 2014: The Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has declared he will not support the creation of any new national parks in Australia and that the country has quite enough, despite the fact that they cover just four per cent of Australia.

Speaking at the ForestWorks dinner in Canberra Tony Abbott said he was committed to supporting the Tasmanian logging timber industry and that too many of Australia’s forests are “locked up”.

“We have quite enough national parks. We have quite enough locked up forests already. Why should we lock up as some sort of World Heritage sanctuary, country that has been logged, degraded or planted for timber?”

Abbott also reaffirmed his commitment to removing part of Tasmania‘s forest from World Heritage listing, made under the forest peace deal. This is the first time a government has ever sought to delist a World Heritage area when its heritage values are still intact. The forest is home to areas, like the Weld, Styx and Upper Florentine Valleys, and the World Heritage Committee has already rigorously assessed these places as being of Outstanding Universal Value to all of us who inhabit the planet.

“Getting that 74,000 hectares out of World Heritage Listing, it’s still going to leave half of Tasmania protected forever,” said Abbott. “But that will be an important sign to you, to Tasmanians, to the world, that we support the timber industry.”

His attack has not surprisingly provoked anger among conservationists.

“Tony Abbott has blown it with that call,” said William Laurance, a professor at James Cook University and director of ALERT, the Alliance of Leading Environmental Researchers and Thinkers. “Australia has some of the world’s most desperately endangered ecosystems and species, which direly need better protection.“

As an example, the scientists cite the mountain ash forests of Victoria, which have been devastated by over-logging and fires, with just 1.2 per cent of the old-growth forest remaining. “The Leadbeater’s possum relies entirely on these old-growth forests and is critically endangered,” said Corey Bradshaw, a professor at the University of Adelaide. “There’s a dire need to create a new national park for this iconic species and ecosystem.”

The scientists say the Prime Minister’s actions will hurt Australia’s reputation. “Australia is hosting the World Park Congress this year,” said Laurance. “If a relatively wealthy country like Australia won’t protect its environment, what kind of message does that send globally?”

Tony Abbott warned anew to repeal part of Racial Discrimination Act: here.

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9 thoughts on “Australian Prime Minister hates national parks

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