House debates

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Questions without Notice


2:56 pm

Photo of Fiona MartinFiona Martin (Reid, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the . Will the minister outline to the House Australia's unique approach to meeting our environmental challenges, especially through the measures contained in this year's budget?

Photo of Sussan LeySussan Ley (Farrer, Liberal Party, Minister for the Environment) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Reid for her question. I congratulate her on the really strong response she takes to the environment in her electorate of Reid. I joined her on Clean Up Australia Day in March this year and she was outstanding.

From our incredibly unique biodiversity and, as an island nation, close affinity to the ocean, through to our rich Indigenous and convict heritage, Australia's iconic environment is part of our national identity. Whether it be through world-leading Antarctic science preparing to drill a one-million-year-old ice core or the management of one of the world's largest marine park networks—our amazing sea rangers killing crown-of-thorns starfish or protecting turtles along the Great Barrier Reef—the Morrison government is committed to protecting and preserving our unique environment for future generations.

The energy minister mentioned that there was no energy policy. I'd like to back that up: there is no environment policy either. That's why everyone is making—

Opposition Members:

Opposition members interjecting

Photo of Sussan LeySussan Ley (Farrer, Liberal Party, Minister for the Environment) Share this | | Hansard source

so many interjections when I try to explain our $1.8 billion in—

Opposition members interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

Members on my left. The minister will proceed.

Photo of Sussan LeySussan Ley (Farrer, Liberal Party, Minister for the Environment) Share this | | Hansard source

additional investments in this year's budget. We are continuing the coalition's strong track record on the environment through practical and meaningful action. I mentioned $1.8 billion over five years. We've announced the biggest single investment in Commonwealth national parks, including Booderee at Jervis Bay. The safe haven for the eastern quoll and the long-footed potoroo is well known to the local Indigenous managers of Booderee National Park. They'll receive $23 million for upgrades as part of that package. Budj Bim Cultural Landscape in south-western Victoria is the first Australian site to be awarded World Heritage Status solely for its Aboriginal cultural heritage values. This budget upgrades Budj Bim and other heritage listed sites across the country, including on the Ningaloo Coast and the Wet Tropics of Queensland.

We are committed to recovery after the black summer bushfires. We've just completed workshops to spend $110 million from our bushfire support package across the seven fire-scarred regions across Australia, bringing together wildlife habitat recovery with community action on the ground and asking those communities how best we can help them recover their incredible unique natural environment. Our investment in climate adaptation activities is backed by the National Environmental Science Program, with $149 million for phase 2 committed in the budget. This is a budget that backs the outstanding contributions of our land managers, our farmers, our landcare movement and the commitment of those who live in and are supported by Australia's wonderful natural environment.