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Abbott will trash Australia's environmental icons

The Australian Greens said Tony Abbott's plan to devolve environment approval powers to the states so he can push through damaging developments is environmentally reckless.

"Tony Abbott is focused on destroying the environment in the fastest possible timeframe by handing over environmental powers to the states in a bid to fast track mining applications," Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne said.

"The strategic assessments that Greg Hunt is crowing about today will put state premiers in charge of protecting nationally significant environmental assets like the Great Barrier Reef.

"It is totally irresponsible to leave the Great Barrier Reef in Campbell Newman's hands, especially when UNESCO is warning the Reef could be added to the World Heritage in danger list if its industrialisation does not slow down.

"When asked about the Reef, Premier Newman declared that 'we're in the coal business.'

"Giving state governments the final say will wind back Australia's environment protection by more than 30 years.

"So much for steady and methodical, the Coalition's approach to the environment is reckless, destructive and out of control."

Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said:

"Premier Newman has already repealed Queensland's protection for national parks, native vegetation, wild rivers and coastal areas - he cannot be trusted with total control of our Great Barrier Reef.

"The Reef does need a long term plan but not one that leaves it entrusted to Premier Newman and ignores the impacts of mining industrialisation."


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