New Environment Minister refuses to stand up for the environment

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NSW Environment Minister, Robyn Parker has refused to stand up for the environment in Parliament today and left the door open for the Government to increase land clearing and reduce protections for threatened species.

The new Minister also signalled that Marine Parks are in the firing line and failed to explain how the environment will be managed, now that NSW does not have an Environment Department.

Leader of the Opposition John Robertson said the O'Farrell Government has made it clear that environmental protections are on the chopping block.

"The Department of Environment has already been axed – which means NSW is the only state or territory in Australia without one," he said.

"Today the Minister went further and refused to rule out lifting or diluting the existing controls on broad scale land clearing.

"The Minister also declined to withdraw her past comments referring to marine parks as 'un-Australian' and failed to back the continuation of the independent Scientific Committee that protects threatened species.

"The only commitment the state's Environment Minister made today was to oppose action on climate change.

"Shadow Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Luke Foley said the O'Farrell Government's brown approach to environmental issues is unsurprising in the aftermath of the Premier's actions to date.

"One of the Premier's first acts in Government was to dump the Coalition's Shadow Environment Minister Catherine Cusack, a staunch opponent of the Shooters & Fishers Party's push for hunting in National Parks," he said.

"The O'Farrell Government has made its intentions clear – it will seek to wind back the significant conservation gains of recent decades."