Baird Government cuts $25 million from National Parks & Wildlife: 35 jobs set to be axed this year

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The Liberal–National Government has cut $25 million from the budget of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, with 35 jobs to be axed this year, the Labor Opposition revealed today.

Shadow Environment Minister Luke Foley said that the cuts confirm the Liberal and National Parties relentless hostility to environmental protection.

“With our native animal populations facing greater threats than ever before, and many threatened species in decline, our precious national parks need investment from government, not swingeing cuts,” Mr Foley said.

“This Government has opened up our national parks to amateur shooting and cattle grazing, and our wilderness areas to horse riding. Yet the resources allocated to manage these potentially damaging activities are now being savagely cut back.

“Labor built this state’s world class national parks estate. The last Labor Government added 3 million hectares to our national parks system, creating over 450 new reserves and expanding hundreds of others.

“In 2012 our national parks received 35.5 million visitations, up 5 per cent from 2010.

“The hard working staff of the National Parks and Wildlife Service are already stretched very thin. These cuts will reduce their ability to combat the threats posed by fire, feral pests and weeds.”

“New Environment Minister Rob Stokes has failed to defend our national parks from large budget cuts, and is proving to be less effective than his predecessor Robyn Parker,” Mr Foley said.

 

National Parks and Wildlife Service:

2014-15 Budget                 $461.52 million

2013-14 Budget                 $485.94 million

 

Employees:

2014-15                                1878

2013-14                                1913

 

(Sources: Budget Papers 2014-15, Budget paper No.3, page 5-23; Budget Papers 2013-14, Budget paper No.3, page 7-17)