“The Albanese biodiversity credits scheme will be a farce in the face of Australia’s extinction crisis, former Greens Leader Bob Brown said in Hobart today.
“It could lead to companies like Adani, Woodside and Whitehaven being credited for buying up and tree-planting or simply maintaining degraded land while not being discredited for completely destroying habitats of endangered species elsewhere. Until governments stop and penalise the onrush of land and marine habitat destruction in Australia, such biodiversity crediting will be an environmental loser at public expense.
“This greenwash scheme will have the perverse effect of rewards for tree planting but no penalties for forest destruction, as under the toxic Regional Forest Agreements. And what, for example, will be the penalty for Main Roads WA which the Minister for the Environment, Tanya Plibersek, has just authorised to bulldoze a woodland full of rare and endangered species at Gelorup south of Perth?” Brown asked.
“If PM Albanese has a scheme for heavy fines or jail for anyone endangering listed threatened species, just as state governments are legislating to fine or jail environmentalists defending these species, it must come hand-in-hand with today’s proposal,” Brown said.
“This scheme has some parallels with the disastrous ‘Plantations for Australia: the 2020 Vision’ created by the Liberal Party in 1997. That scheme led to tax-deductibility for converting native forests to plantations. It saw many investors go broke and had a huge impact on Australia’s biodiversity,” he said.