Posted on 08. Mar, 2011 in News

Ted Baillieu needs to rule out opening up national parks to major developments which will have a devastating impact on Victoria’s ecosystem, Shadow Environment Minister Lisa Neville said today.

Ms Neville said the Baillieu Government had indicated it would support proposals to open up parcels of national parks for development.

“Less than 20 per cent of all land in Victoria is made up of national parks and reserves and it is crucial that these areas remain protected,” Ms Neville said.

“These parks are open to all Victorians, not just private developers who may show little regard for our fragile eco-systems.

“I call on the Coalition Government to rule out any major developments inside our national parks.

“The Coalition Government can not be trusted to protect Victoria’s national parks and reserves with it already allowing cattle grazing to return to our alpine regions.

“It is imperative that the Government strikes the right balance between protecting the environment and generating jobs in regional centres.

“Labor encouraged tourism development outside national parks, not inside them. Our policy to drive investment around national parks helped develop the economies of small regional centres and created jobs.”

Ms Neville said the Coalition must ensure Victoria’s parks and reserves were protected.

“Last year, Labor proclaimed four new national parks and today we see that the Coalition Government would be happy to open them up to major developments,” she said.

“Victoria has 45 national parks and 13 marine parks and they are unique and special places for our state drawing domestic and international tourists.

“The Coalition have shown they are only too happy to take risks with Victoria’s environment with alpine cattle grazing underway.”

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