WWF-Australia today expressed concern over media reports that could mean the federal environment budget has been slashed by around $350 million or 10%.
The Australian Financial Review is reporting that the Green Army is to be axed saving more than $350 million.
“Without any replacement funding this would cut the federal environment budget by 10% in forward years,” said WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman.
“This year bleaching killed nearly a quarter of the Great Barrier Reef’s coral and native species are being pushed towards extinction because of tree clearing.
“We need to be investing more in our wildlife and special places, not slashing the environment budget.
“These environment cuts come as the government flags a $1 billion public handout to help the Adani coal mine, which scientists fear will accelerate more bleaching events.
“This funding should be going to help farmers control run-off along the Reef coast not to subsidise fossil fuel infrastructure,” Mr O’Gorman said.
He also raised concerns about threatened species spending.
“The federal government has previously touted the Green Army as its key threatened species recovery program – where is the funding for species coming from now?
“WWF-Australia will seek urgent clarification from Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg on the budget situation,” Mr O’Gorman said.
Mark Symons, WWF-Australia Senior Media Officer, 0400 985 571, firstname.lastname@example.org