Mike Baird cuts national parks budget by nearly $22 million and 15 jobs

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Shadow Minister for the Environment Penny Sharpe has questioned the Baird Government’s commitment to preserving our national parks, following an almost $22 million cut to the National Parks and Wildlife Service budget and the loss of 15 jobs. 

In 2014/15 our national parks received 39 million visitations, up nearly 8 per cent from 2012, with a further one million people forecast to visit in 2015/16. These budget cuts will mean staff have fewer resources to service the growing number of visitors.

National Parks and Wildlife Service Budget: (1)

2015-16 Budget – $468.4 million

2014-15 Budget – $490.1 million

National Parks and Wildlife Service Employees: (2)

2015-16 – 1884

2014-15 – 1899

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for the Environment Penny Sharpe

“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.”

“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.”

“The hard working staff of the National Parks and Wildlife Service are already stretched thin and these cuts will mean even fewer resources to service additional visitors, combat feral pests and weeds, and life-threatening fires.”

“New Environment Minister Mark Speakman has failed to defend our national parks from large budget cuts, and is proving that he is no match for Baird’s razor gang.”

(1) Budget Papers 2015-16, Budget Paper No. 3, p8-1

(2) Budget Papers 2015-16, Budget Paper No. 3, p8-25