17 August 2023
THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER
SPEECH TO ALP NATIONAL CONFERENCE
Delegates, unionists, environmentalists:
Last year, at the election, Labor promised to put the environment front and centre –
Back where it belongs.
And here, written in this platform, set out in this chapter, Labor is delivering on that promise.
No first-year government has done more for the environment than we have.
And no government has ever invested more money in nature conservation than we are:
- Doubling the funding to our National Parks.
- Doubling the number of renewable energy projects being approved.
- Tripling the size of the Macquarie Island Marine Park – likely the biggest addition to ocean conservation anywhere in the world this year.
- Doubling the number of Indigenous Rangers.
- Adding ten new Indigenous Protected Areas to our national estate.
- Bringing clean water to remote First Nations communities, and rebuilding the town of Mutitjulu, after years of disgraceful neglect.
- Protecting thirty per cent of our land and sea.
- Doubling Australia’s recycling capacity; restoring our urban rivers; fighting for zero new extinctions; and investing $1.2 billion to protect and restore the Great Barrier Reef here in Queensland.
And looking ahead, we have some massive reforms to come:
- Rewriting our broken environmental laws, to make them nature positive.
- Establishing a national EPA and Environment Information Australia.
- And delivering the Murray Darling Basin Plan – this country’s biggest investment in environmental conservation, protecting over one million square kilometres of Australia’s heartland.
Delegates, that was the first instalment –
And with this platform, we begin the next great Labor push.
So thank you to all the true believers who helped write this chapter.
All the branch members, all the trade unions, all the activists in LEAN.
When we deliver our first term law reform agenda, I commit to taking stock, to see what needs to be done next.
When I do that, I will look carefully at LEAN’s proposal for a National Environment.
Commission, as well as other ideas that might arise.
I proudly second this chapter.