South Australia doesn’t value its environment

5 09 2018

how we treat our 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 organise 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:

budget

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 recognise 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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7 responses

21 11 2018
Better Prospects for the Future of South Australia’s Biodiversity | ConservationBytes.com

[…] arrest the declining State Budget funding of the Department of Environment and Water and the EPA, an… […]

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7 09 2018
Andrew Smith

Even allowing for difficulty in getting full ‘hard data’ the huge decline in funding is appalling. Has there been any media interest in this post? or situation? There should be!

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7 09 2018
CJAB

No media interest yet, but I agree, there should be (mind you, I did get the Minister’s attention, who pooh-poohed the whole thing in typical denialist fashion).

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8 09 2018
Margaret

It’s time to let the public through social media and on TV know his shonky they are. So much for our national Fauna everyone comes to see. They’ll soon only be in a museum 😢 this government is only interested in their own pockets and future pensions. Why do we even have compulsory voting if they just change when they want to!

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5 09 2018
Faith Coleman

Corey,

Are those figures with or without the incorporation of the NRM levy into the DEW/DEWNR budget? What will separating these levy contributions back out, potentially though implementation of the proposed Landscapes SA Act, do to these figures?

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5 09 2018
CJAB

No idea. As I said, the budget tables are a dog’s breakfast and nearly impenetrable (I suspect they do this on purpose). It’s even worse comparing year to year because of name changes, portfolio shifts, and different rules for allocation. It’s a real mess. I’ve also noted that the budget papers for previous are now gone from the general website, so it seems difficult or even impossible to retrace budgetary steps over time.

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9 09 2018
Faith Coleman

Thank-you, Corey.

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