How did the environment fare in the Vic budget 2017?

All up it has $306M was allocated to our environment (sport managed $308M). This is less than half of what the M80 Ring Road has been allocated, and less than half the schools’ budget.

Biodiversity Plan 2037 – $86M for reveg and pest control.

Parks – $32M for new rangers over 2 years and a revamped website. $28M – promotion of parks and tourism.

EPA – $163M for better enforcement, waste recovery and jobs in regional areas, e-waste and (alarm bells!) the emerging waste-to-energy market (forest biomass burning?).

Great Forest National Park and Leadbeaters Possum protection – $000.00. But hopefully they come under parks and biodiversity budgets.

Climate change  – about $150M to collect data and aim for net zero emissions by 2050 (the same as allocated to tourism over a shorter term), energy storage and efficiency programs with govt buildings and schools, coastal management for climate impacts and solar powered trams.

Other areas of interest:

For the annual wildlife reduction burning, Fire and Emergency Management gets $229M over 4 years. Over $50M a year.

There is $110 million over 4 years to establish timber plantations in the Latrobe Valley (for supplying  woodchips to the Nippon-owned paper mill we suspect).  Depending on the placement and management these could become another environmental problem.

Then there’s $2 BILLION for new freeways and better roads to encourage more car and truck use, but the Andrews Govt can only find $25M to spend on climate change action. This is despite a $1.2 Billion surplus.

Andrews budget #3 – some small improvements but overall another disappointment.

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