06.08.2010: Voters want more funding for environment

A new Australia-wide poll has found three out of four people support increasing the share of the nation’s budget currently spent on nature conservation. Currently, only 1% of Australia’s budget is spent on protecting the natural environment.

The poll of 2200 voters was conducted by Auspoll for ACF and WWF.

“We need a well-funded national plan to protect our forests, rivers, wetlands and oceans, but neither of the major political parties has yet shown it has such a plan,” said ACF’s Healthy Ecosystems Program Manager Paul Sinclair.

The poll also showed an 88% of respondents were concerned that no politician had communicated a vision or plan to manage our natural assets while maintaining the economy.

“With only two weeks left in this election campaign, there is still a huge opportunity for Australia’s parties to show leadership on environmental issues,” said Dr Gilly Llewellyn, WWF-Australia’s Manager of Conservation.

“The public is crying out for our political leaders to stand up and protect our environment.”

ACF and WWF are calling on the next Australian Government to increase the amount of funding the environment receives by reducing the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) on company cars.

“The current tax systems pays people more to drive more which drives up pollution harmful to our environment,” said Dr Llewellyn.

“But we believe Australia can be smarter than that. We can make sure Australian workers receive the help they’re entitled to, while also reducing our impact on the environment, and saving money.”

Research by the Australian Tax Office has shown more than one billion dollars in revenue each year is being foregone because of the current structure of FBT on company cars.

ACF’s Dr Sinclair said “our environment is our life support system and it requires urgent and unprecedented investment and national leadership to keep functioning”.

 

Source: Australian Conservation Foundation

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