Our Plan for

a Cleaner Environment

KEY POINTS

The Morrison Government will continue the Liberal Nationals’ strong record of supporting practical and meaningful environmental action that gets results.

Australia’s iconic environment is part of our national identity and we are committed to protecting and preserving it for future generations.

It’s also an important asset that helps us to grow the economy and create jobs: by drawing tourists to our unique natural attractions, through farmers making their land more sustainable and productive, and by incentivising businesses to develop new clean technology.

The Morrison Government understands that a healthy economy and a healthy environment go hand in hand. We can invest in our environment because we are keeping our economy strong.

We believe that protecting and restoring the environment is best achieved by working in partnership with the community, Landcare groups, small and large businesses, Indigenous communities, farmers and scientists.

By building these partnerships, we aim to deliver:

  • More recycling and less waste to protect the environment, deliver healthier communities and build our recycling industry.
  • Cleaner and greener local communities to improve the environments in which Australians live, work and play.
  • Cleaner oceans, coasts and waterways to protect our marine life, support our industries and ensure future generations can continue to enjoy these natural playgrounds, including the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Protection of threatened species to ensure our unique plants and animals are preserved.

This will complement the action we are taking through our Climate Solutions Fund to meet our international emissions reduction targets.

Our focus on practical, on-ground action and partnership with the community contrasts with Labor who only have a plan for more bureaucracy and public servants. Labor can’t be trusted to invest in the environment when they can’t run the economy and they can’t manage money. They can’t even cost the impact their emissions plan will have on the economy.

Only the Liberal Nationals Government can protect the environment while maintaining a strong economy.

OUR RECORD

Liberal Nationals Governments have a long and proud history of protecting and restoring our environment, including saving the Great Barrier Reef from oil drilling, ending whaling in Australia and creating the Natural Heritage Trust.

Since our election in 2013, we have continued this tradition of sensible and practical environmental leadership.

We have put Landcare back in focus with our $1 billion National Landcare Program. We are on track to meet our target of planting 20 million trees by 2020. And we have invested over $250 million to support thousands of community-led environmental projects.

The Great Barrier Reef is receiving more funding than ever, with our Government investing over $1.2 billion to improve water quality, control crown of thorns starfish, clean up plastic litter and fund new research into protecting the Reef. Our investments are being guided by our world-class Reef 2050 Plan which has been endorsed by the World Heritage Committee and praised by the OECD. We have also put an end to all capital dredge spoil disposal in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Australia has the second largest marine park network in the world after the Liberal Nationals protected an additional 2.3 million square kilometres through a new national network of marine reserves – and we’ve done this while minimising impacts on recreational and commercial fishers.

The Liberal Nationals Government has been working hard to protect our threatened plants and animals. We appointed Australia’s first Threatened Species Commissioner in 2014 and launched the Threatened Species Strategy in 2015. Since 2014, over $425 million has been mobilised for over 1,300 projects to protect and recover populations of threatened species.

Our new National Waste Policy will create jobs, protect the health of communities and reduce environmental impacts by increasing recycling and reducing waste. We have invested $50 million in a National Food Waste Strategy to halve Australia’s food waste by 2030. We have established a voluntary scheme for recycling tyres. We have worked with business to remove plastic microbeads from cosmetic and skin-care products that end up in our waterways and oceans – 94 per cent of these products are now microbead-free.

Through the Natural Heritage Trust, we are providing $47 million to protect our World Heritage sites including the Greater Blue Mountains, the Ningaloo Coast, Shark Bay and the Tasmanian Wilderness area. We continue to protect the rainforests of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area by investing in the eradication of introduced Yellow Crazy Ants, with a further $9 million committed in the 2019-20 Budget. Our Australian Heritage Grants Program is providing support to protect our National Heritage listed sites, with up to $21.4 million from 2018-19 to 2021-22, and $5.7 million per annum from 2022-23 onwards.

We are investing a record $830 million for Indigenous Rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas over 10 years through to 2023.

OUR PLAN

More recycling and less waste

Governments, businesses and the community all need to play a part in ensuring we have a healthy recycling sector and less waste and litter.

Australians create around 67 million tonnes of waste each year and we all want to see less waste going to landfill and ending up in our oceans, and more being re-used and recycled.

A re-elected Morrison Government will implement a comprehensive $167 million Australian Recycling Investment plan to increase Australia’s recycling rates, tackle plastic waste and litter, accelerate work on a new battery recycling scheme and continue action to halve food waste by 2030.

Healthy recycling sector: With other countries starting to shut down their markets to Australia’s recyclable materials, there is an opportunity to grow and strengthen Australia’s domestic recycling industry, and support it to lift recycling rates in Australia. The Morrison government will support a range of measures to do this, including:

  • A new $100 million Australian Recycling Investment Fund through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to support the manufacturing of lower emissions and energy-efficient recycled content products, such as recycled content plastics and paper/pulp.
  • $20 million for a new Product Stewardship Investment Fund to accelerate work on new recycling schemes, including for batteries, electrical and electronic products, photovoltaic systems, and plastic oil containers.
  • Reducing contamination by helping Australians identify what can and can’t be recycled, with up to $2 million to support the Australian Council of Recycling’s ‘Project Yellowsail’ national recycling app.
  • Working with Planet Ark and the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation with up to $1.6 million to establish a Circular Economy Hub to drive innovation and establish an online marketplace to match buyers and sellers of waste.
  • Supporting the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation to deliver increased recycling rates for packaging waste, with up to $1.1 million for consumer education.
  • Continue working to halve food waste by 2030 under our National Food Waste Strategy, with an additional $500,000 to support the delivery of a Fight Food Waste campaign by OzHarvest.

Continue to work with state, territory and local governments on opportunities to get more recycled content into road construction, building on the funding provided to the Australian Road Research Board in the 2019-Budget.

Tackling plastic waste: Plastic litter and debris is a major environmental issue. We need to take action at a local, national and global level. A re-elected Morrison Government will:

  • Allocate $20 million through a special round of the Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) to find new and innovative solutions to plastic recycling and waste, including new ways of incorporating recycled plastics in manufacturing and construction.
  • Work with our Pacific neighbours to combat marine litter by allocating $16 million towards a Pacific Ocean Litter Project.
  • Support Conservation Volunteers Australia to undertake community beach and river clean-ups and monitoring across the country (up to $5 million).
  • Continue the great work of Clean Up Australia and Keep Australia Beautiful to mobilise the community to reduce and clean-up litter (up to $600,000).
  • Support Clean4Shore to continue their clean-up activities on the NSW Central Coast (up to $300,000).
Environment Restoration Fund

The Morrison Government has committed $100 million in the 2019-20 Budget to a new Environment Restoration Fund to support major environmental projects that deliver lasting conservation benefits. This is the type of investment that is only made possible through a strong economy and responsible budget management.

The fund will be a vehicle for national leadership on emerging and long-term environmental issues, building on our $1 billion National Landcare Program.

Funding will be provided for a broad range of environmental restoration and protection projects, built around three key priorities:

  • Cleaning up and protecting Australia’s coasts, oceans and waterways.
  • Protecting threatened and migratory species and their habitats.
  • Increasing recycling and reducing waste.
Cleaner coasts and waterways

Our coasts and waterways are an important part of Australian life. They harbour a wide array of wildlife, support our industries and are natural playgrounds for our people.

A re-elected Morrison Government will strategically invest in our key rivers, waterways and coasts through the Environment Restoration Fund to help clean them up and improve water quality. Key priorities will include:

  • Improving the health of the Yarra River (up to $2 million).
  • Protecting Victoria’s iconic Surf Coast dune systems (up to $1.5 million)
  • Restoring Mount Martha North Beach (up to $1.5 million)
  • Improving the health of the Swan and Canning Rivers in Western Australia (up to $2 million).
  • Continuing River Torrens recovery in South Australia (up to $2 million).
  • Restoring waterways in the lower Brisbane River catchment (up to $1.15 million).
  • Improving the health of Moreton Bay in Queensland (up to $1.2 million).
  • Improving the health of the Georges River in New South Wales (up to $1 million).
  • Keeping the Hawkesbury and Nepean Rivers in New South Wales healthy (up to $511,000).
  • Improving the health of Gosford Coastal Lagoons (up to $300,000).
  • Protecting the health of Bowling Green Bay in North Queensland (up to $2 million).

The initiative will build on the $9 million we have already provided under Landcare for the River Torrens, Swan and Canning Rivers, Yarra and Tamar Rivers and Tuggerah Lakes, and a $95 million investment in the Tamar River under the Launceston City Deal.

Recovery of threatened species

Australia has some of the most unique and special animals in the world, but a number of them are under threat. A re-elected Morrison Government will allocate up to $10 million under the Environment Restoration Fund in an important new program to support the creation of safe havens for threatened species.

Safe havens are a priority under the Government’s Threatened Species Strategy. They are fenced areas where feral predators like feral cats and foxes can be removed and kept out – allowing species like rock wallabies, bilbies, quolls and bandicoots to be reintroduced and thrive.

A scientific review has identified a range of priority sites to fill the gaps in Australia's safe haven network, including the Victorian Alps, Darling Downs, Sturt Stony Desert and Flinders Ranges. Up to $1.2 million of this funding will also go towards completing the feral-free Wandiyali-Environa Wildlife Sanctuary in NSW.

We will also make targeted investments through the Fund to recover our at-risk species. This will include up to $6 million for a major koala initiative in northern NSW and south-east Queensland, including funding to enhance koala habitat and support for rescue activities and wildlife hospitals. It also includes up to $3 million to protect WA's black cockatoos, $1.5 million for Bruny Island's threatened mammals, and $1.5 million for Kangaroo Island's threatened dunnart.

The Morrison Government is committed to Australia playing its part in protecting endangered animals and plants from around the world. Australia has some of the strictest regulation of international trade of endangered species and we are working internationally to stop illegal wildlife trade. we are also working to further strengthen regulations within Australia by working with states and territories on banning domestic trade of ivory and rhino horn. By shutting down the market for these items here in Australia we’ll help to better protect elephants and rhinos in their native habitats.

Cleaner and greener local communities

We understand that local communities are often best placed to implement effective environmental protection and management.

The Morrison Government has committed more than $22 million to give communities new opportunities to protect and care for their local environment. Through the Communities Environment Program, each Federal electorate will receive up to $150,000 in 2019-20 for community-led projects that deliver real environmental benefits.

The Energy Efficient Communities Program will provide $50 million in grants to businesses and community organisations to help them save energy and lower their power bills. This includes up to $20,000 for small businesses and $25,000 for high energy-using businesses for equipment upgrades such as new lighting, refrigeration and air conditioning.

Community organisations will also be able to access grants through the $5 million Solar Communities Program, providing up to $12,500 for small-scale solar energy generation and storage projects such as solar PV, solar hot water and batteries.

We will also invest $30 million in a pilot Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship Fund to provide incentives to farmers to boost biodiversity and reduce emissions. This will reward farmers who look after biodiversity on their farm and give them more motivation to maintain and enhance bushland, regenerate waterways and plant native trees.

Supporting sustainable development and environmental education

The Morrison Government has committed $50 million in the 2019-20 Budget towards the establishment of new world-leading environment research and education facilities.

We will contribute $25 million towards a National Centre for Coasts, Environment and Climate within the Quarantine station precinct at Port Nepean: supporting Monash University and the University of Melbourne in establishing a facility where Australian and international researchers and students can better understand the pressures of population growth and climate change on temperate coastal ecosystems like Port Phillip Bay.

We will invest $25 million in the development of the $40 million Harry Butler Environmental Education Centre at Murdoch University. The groundbreaking Centre will promote the positive partnership of economic development and a healthy, sustainable environment.

Climate change and renewables

Australia has a proud track record of meeting our international climate commitments and supporting renewable energy.

Climate change is a global issue that requires a global solution. The Liberal Nationals Government has overachieved on our commitment under the Kyoto Protocol, something few countries have done.

We will reduce emissions by 26-28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and we will do this while growing the economy, creating jobs, protecting our environment and keeping power prices down.

The Morrison Government has a $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Plan – among the largest investments by Australia in emissions reduction.

A new $2 billion Climate Solutions Fund will ensure we meet our 2030 Paris commitments by supporting practical measures such as revegetation of degraded land, reducing waste, savannah burning and improving energy efficiency.

The Morrison Government is also expanding our world-class renewable hydro resources to supply millions of Australians with reliable renewable energy. Snowy 2.0 will be the world’s second-largest high tech pumped hydro power station and increase generation capacity by 2,000 megawatts – enough power for 500,000 homes during peak demand. Importantly, Snowy 2.0 will also put downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices.

Upgrading Kakadu

The Morrison Government has committed up to $216 million to upgrade the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park and support the township of Jabiru.

The funding will upgrade roads to improve access to the park; upgrade camp grounds, walking tracks and viewing platforms; improve signage, mobile and WiFi services and support an Indigenous-led World Heritage Kakadu Visitor Centre in Jabiru.

Investing in Sydney Harbour’s parks and heritage

The 2019-20 Budget included $21.4 million for infrastructure upgrades for important defence heritage sites around Sydney Harbour.

At Headland Park, we’ll preserve the heritage of key buildings for appropriate educational, community, recreational and commercial uses and construct a public path circuit integrated with the new Sydney Harbour Scenic Walk.

We’ll also contribute to the renewal of the former submarine base Platypus: creating a lasting impact along the Sydney Harbour foreshore by adapting significant heritage buildings for community access.

Conserving Antarctica

The Morrison Government is committed to ensuring Australia remains a leader in Antarctica. We are strengthening Tasmania as the premier gateway and scientific research hub for East Antarctica.

We are investing $450 million over the next 10 years to upgrade Australia’s Antarctic research station network and infrastructure – effectively tripling the investment in Antarctic infrastructure to support Antarctic science and operations.

This will bring our investment in Antarctica to a record level of around $2.8 billion including:

  • $1.9 billion towards a new icebreaker.
  • $45 million over 10 years for overland traverse capabilities.
  • $210 million over 10 years for additional funding for our Antarctic operations.
  • $107 million over 11 years for Antarctic research initiatives.
  • $50 million for a new research station on Macquarie Island.
Environmental laws

The Morrison Government supports sustainable development that meets high environmental standards.

It is important that environmental laws provide the high levels of protection expected by the community, while minimising the regulatory burden on businesses so they can continue to grow the economy.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) was introduced by the Liberal Nationals in 1999 and it remains the cornerstone of Australian environmental regulation.

To ensure the EPBC Act remains best-practice, the Morrison Government will consult widely on an independent statutory review of the Act. Consultation will begin later this year and include feedback from business groups, environmental organisations, farmers and other land users and the broader community to ensure we strike the right balance with our environmental laws – continuing to protect the environment while allowing for sustainable development.

Protecting the Rainforest and the Reef

The Morrison Government understands that the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforests of the Wet Tropics are not only natural wonders of the world, they are also a huge driver of the economy, particularly in North Queensland. The Great Barrier Reef alone contributes 64,000 jobs and $6.4 billion in economic value every year.

We will continue to roll out our $443.3 million Great Barrier Reef Partnership Program as part of the more than $1.2 billion we are investing in the Reef. This funding is going towards proven reef protection activities like improving water quality, crown-of-thorns starfish control, community action, and scientific research and development to find new ways of restoring and protecting the Reef.

We also announced as part of the 2019-20 Budget that we will deliver $9 million over the next three years to control Yellow Crazy Ants in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Yellow Crazy Ants are among the world's worst invasive species and their presence threatens endangered species such as the Southern Cassowary, Mahogany Glider, Northern Bettong and stream-dwelling rainforest frogs, as well as posing a major threat to sugar cane growers.

THE CHOICE

By keeping our economy strong, the Liberal Nationals Government can continue investing in our environment.

Australia’s environment cannot be supported under Labor’s economy-wrecking plans. If you can’t manage the economy and the Budget, then you can’t invest in the environment.

The Morrison Government will support practical and meaningful actions to protect the environment for future generations. We will do this by working in partnership with the community, Landcare groups, small and large businesses, Indigenous communities, farmers and scientists.

We support balanced environmental laws that ensure good environmental outcomes without burying business in unnecessary red tape.

Labor’s plan for the environment is a plan for more bureaucracy and public servants. They will establish a large new environmental bureaucracy in Canberra, money that would be better spent on protecting our threatened species and improving our coasts and oceans.

The Liberal Nationals Government has prioritised protecting the Great Barrier Reef. We are working in partnership with the community, including the biggest single investment in the Reef through a $443 million partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

Labor wants to take this money away, They can’t be trusted to protect the Reef: when they were last in government, the World Heritage Committee put the Reef on its in-danger ‘watch list’ and criticised Labor’s handling of dredging proposals along the coast.

The Morrison Government will invest over $22 million to support our community groups, including Landcare groups, scouts groups, sports clubs and councils, to protect and care for the local environment. This includes protecting native species, improving local waterways and coastal areas, cleaning up waste and litter, and greening local parks and urban areas.

Labor wants to abolish the program and has no plan to support cleaner and greener local communities.

COST

The Coalition’s Plan for a Cleaner Environment will invest an additional $20 million in the Product Stewardship Investment Fund.