Environment Magazine

South Australia Doesn’t Value Its Environment

Posted on the 05 September 2018 by Bradshaw @conservbytes

South Australia doesn’t value its environmentThe South Australian State Budget was released yesterday, and as has been the trend for the last ten years or so, the numbers are not good for the State’s environment.

While it has been reported that the budget includes the loss of 115 full-time staff from the Department of Environment and Water, the overall cuts run much deeper. They also herald a new era of not giving a tinker’s cuss for the sorry state of our environment.

I took the liberty of amassing the budget data with respect to environmental spending in this State since 2002-2003 (the earliest year I could find budget papers), and now I’ve just added the 2018-2019 data.

If I’ve selected the appropriate amounts, — side note: someone desperately needs to teach these budget bean-counters how to standardise, report, itemise, and organize data much, much better than they do (my first-year students could do a better job drunk and blindfolded) — then this is what environmental spending (including environment, biodiversity, water, and the Environment Protection Authority) has looked like since 2002:

South Australia doesn’t value its environment

Not only has the total amount been hovering around a measly $160 million (not enough even to do a single broad-scale project well, such as predator control or reforestation, let alone run an entire department) for the past 5 years, a more worrying trend is that environment spending in this state has continually declined in terms of overall percentages. We now hover at barely over 1% of our total state budget for ALL things environmental. Bloody shocking.

It shows clearly that this new government, as well as the last, holds our State’s environment in extremely low regard, to the point of outright disdain. I’ve reported recently how even our own elected representatives recognize this fact officially, but it seems to fall on deaf ears when putting actual money toward actual environmental problems in this State.

While I quietly despair on my own, I have to alert CB.com readers that within the next few months the South Australia Environment Protection Authority will release a new, comprehensive State of the Environment Report that includes a strongly worded essay by yours truly identifying not only the major problems our State’s biodiversity is currently facing, but also outlining several ways forward that are politically, financially, and scientifically feasible. However, we need at least a modicum of cash to be able to achieve even the most modest of these initiatives. I will of course alert readers when the report is released officially (hopefully by this November at the latest).

Come on, South Australia, let’s start valuing the very life-support system that keeps us all alive — our environment!

CJA Bradshaw

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