Internal Government Struggle Causes Delay For Single Nature Conservation Agency

Shane Rattenbury and Simon Corbell should stop fighting and get on with establishing a single nature conservation agency for the sake of the ACT’s environmental future. Tomorrow the Canberra Liberals will again call on the government make this happen and make environmental management more efficient in the ACT, Shadow Minister for the Environment Nicole Lawder said today.

“It has been 18 months since the Legislative Assembly voted for the government to establish a single nature conservation agency but no action has been taken by ACT Labor, even after I made a similar call back in February,” Ms Lawder said.

“The current arrangement where conservation functions are split between the Territory and Municipal Services Directorate and the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate creates overlap, is inefficient and results in poor outcomes. The two overseeing ministers, Shane Rattenbury and Simon Corbell should stop fighting over who will manage conservation and get on with it.

“The Chief Minister assured us back in February that a single agency was being considered by the government but indicated that any changes would be made along with the appointment of the sixth minister. We can all see that this has not happened and that bickering between ministers is being put ahead of effective environmental management.

“A single agency would better integrate corporate knowledge and carry out policy implementation. It means the ‘doing’ and ‘policy’ functions will come under the one directorate, resulting in improved efficiency and outcomes.

“Several community organisations including the Conservation Council have been calling for the establishment of a single agency for some time but unfortunately the government seems to be standing still with conservation management, like we have seen with the unacceptable delays regarding the Tuggeranong Wetlands.

“Both the Labor Party and the Greens agree with the single agency but a delay because of an internal fight between Simon Corbell and Shane Rattenbury is unacceptable. Both ministers should cast their differences aside for the sake of the ACT’s environment,” Ms Lawder concluded.