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Too Precious To Lose - Greens campaign to put environmental protection back on the agenda

The Australian Greens are today launching a national campaign to stand up against the attacks on environmental icons and environmental protection laws by resource companies and state and federal governments.

Too Precious to Lose will bring together local campaigns to save icons such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Tarkine wilderness, Kakadu and the koala as part of a united national push to reprioritise environmental protection and prevent the Federal Government's plans to hand over its environmental powers to state governments.


"Australians love our environmental icons and are deeply troubled by the thoughtless greed of the mining bubble putting our environment under attack like never before," Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.

"With governments and corporations focussed on this year's profits or budget surplus, trying to milk the last dollar from the resources bubble, we're seeing our precious places and wildlife liquidated at a horrifying rate.

"It's long past time we replaced the notion that Australia's wealth is dependent on digging-it-up, cutting-it-down and shipping-it-overseas with the knowledge that our prosperity depends on our brains, on our health and on our creativity, underpinned by a healthy environment.

"We need to be redoubling our efforts to build resilience in nature in the face of global warming, not watering it down and accelerating its loss by greedy extraction.

"Today we are launching a national campaign bringing together iconic environmental campaigns around the country, uniting Greens and communities in our efforts to save them, and putting protection of our precious environment back on the political agenda."

Australian Greens Spokesperson for the Environment, Senator Larissa Waters, said "The Great Barrier Reef is being turned into a highway for coal and gas shipping, ten new mines are proposed for Tasmania's Tarkine wilderness, and James Price Point in the Kimberley, where dinosaur footprints dot the shore, is slated to become a massive gas hub.

"Logging has reduced Victoria's state emblem, the Leadbeater's possum, to fewer than a thousand in the wild, our threatened species list has nearly tripled in the last twenty years, and even our beloved koala and Tasmanian devil are facing extinction.

"In the face of these threats, Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke actually wants to make it easier for damaging activities to be approved in our most special areas.

"Instead of standing up for the environment, Mr Burke wants to hand over his powers to State Governments by March next year - governments which are opening up National Parks to shooting and grazing, lobbying to stop protection of the Tarkine and approving new coal and uranium mines.

"We can't trust these governments with places and wildlife that are too precious to lose. We need the Australian Government to act to protect the environment that belongs to all Australians - but Tony Burke wants to give away all his powers to the states.

"The Greens will work hard to put environmental protection back on the agenda and stop the Federal Government from ditching its powers, and we're asking the Australian community to stand with us."

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