WHEN you vote on Saturday, consider the environment. I realise there are many important issues competing for attention which will influence for whom you vote, but there are serious environmental problems in NSW requiring strong political advocacy.
A problem which needs no explanation is that of the Murray-Darling Basin. Massive fish kills and unprecedented drying requires a massive rethink of how we manage the river system.
We need to elect a local member who can passionately support the correct balance of water use in the Murray-Darling Basin, to fight for flows that will allow for the return of a healthy river system.
An environmentally-aware local member should be involved in the current Natural Resources Review of the Barwon Darling Water Sharing Plan 2012, and be prepared to be an advocate for the return of previous environmental allocation.
This is a big ask of any elected member, especially considering the many competing issues which require parliamentary attention, but our environment deserves nothing less.
The term of our current state government has seen changes to our laws which have resulted in an alarming increase in land clearing in NSW.
Environmental groups have been critical of the new land management regime, much of which allows for self-regulation.
Environment groups would like to see a return to previous legislation which, although not perfect, offered some protection for our biodiversity.
The current land clearing situation requires a champion who is willing to challenge the new laws and advocate for changes that will genuinely protect biodiversity in NSW.
We need a local member who will fight for our national parks. Successive governments in NSW have reduced funding for these important areas of natural biodiversity. If we are to maintain our national parks to the appropriate standard, we must increase funding for their management.
Public access to National Parks is essential for connection with nature in our increasingly urbanised society. They also contain priceless and unique environmental assets that require funding and management.
Extreme weather events have prompted a resurgence in public concern about climate change.
We need in parliament a representative who will support real action on climate change, including a just transition away from fossil fuels, incentives for renewable energy, no new coal mines and no extensions of existing coal mines.
This is a big ask of any elected member, especially considering the many competing issues which require parliamentary attention.
But our environment deserves nothing less.
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