Ever since the Whitlam Government strong environmental laws have underpinned all the major conservation decisions that have been taken in Australia. They were the way that Gough Whitlam was able to prevent Joh Bjelke Petersen from drilling in the Great Barrier Reef. They were the way that Bob Hawke was able to save the Franklin, Kakadu and the Daintree.
They were also the way the Keating Government was able to commence the process for protecting our oceans which was concluded when Peter Garret and Tony Burke held the Environment portfolio and we established the strongest network of marine protected areas in the world.
The principles that have been provided are a solid foundation for the development of the election policies which the Shadow Cabinet and the Party are now working on. As part of this process we are also looking at ways to better engage with First Nations people in the development of national environment law. There are too many times when political parties to the right of us and to the left of us pick and choose when they will decide to listen to the voices of First Australians.
Thank you for your interest in this issue.