ACF Gives Coalition A Fail Mark On The Environment

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The Australian Conservation Foundation has eviscerated the Coalition’s environment policies, giving the Government just 14 out of a possible hundred points going into election day.

The Coalition’s fail mark is less than a quarter of Labor’s score of 62, and around one seventh of the Greens leading score of 95. With less than a week until polling day, the Foundation will now refocus its efforts to “let Australians know where the parties stand,” saying it will send 50,000 text messages on election day.

Commenting on the release of the scorecard this morning, ACF Chief Executive Officer Kelly O’Shannassy  hit out at the Government for running a “small target strategy” on climate change, and noted “its mark of 14 is well below a pass”.

To arrive at the scores, the parties were measured against the 40 points in the Australian Conservation Foundation’s National Agenda. The Coalition were definitively the least environmentally friendly party, and the only one which scored less than 50 points.

Two crossbench groups which may prove influential after the election were also scored, with Glenn Lazarus receiving a score of 71, and the burgeoning Nick Xenophon Network bagging a mark of 54.

The independent scorecard comes as the Coalition revives the carbon tax scare campaign and aggressively smears Labor’s environment policies, claiming the Opposition has been “infiltrated” by green activists.

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(IMAGE: Thom Mitchell.)
(IMAGE: Thom Mitchell.)

The Coalition’s mark has lifted by three points since a preliminary scorecard was issued in late May, but the meagre improvement suggests that there has been next to no movement on the Government’s position over the course of the election campaign.

Dissatisfaction at the lack of change to the Coalition’s environment policy since Malcolm Turnbull seized the top job has bubbled to the surface over the last weeks of the election campaign. At the weekend, around 1,000 people rallied to condemn the Prime Minister’s continuing support for Abbott-era climate policy.

O’Shannassy said people were right to be be worried about the Coalition’s position.

“In a year when 93 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef has been affected by coral bleaching – a direct result of warmer than usual waters – voters expect the people who want to represent them in Parliament to have strong plans,” she said.

The full scorecard – including a breakdown of policy on different environmental issues – can be viewed on the Australian Conservation Foundation’s website.

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Thom Mitchell

Thom Mitchell is New Matilda's Environment Reporter.

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