This announcement is clearly seeking to disguise the Barnett government’s disappointing environmental performance over the past four years, and without further scrutiny it could be viewed as a positive environmental initiative.
If one looks more closely however, one may question why any economically and environmentally responsible government would carve up a government department that is just starting to settle down after the Labor Party repackaged it in 2006.
The department in question is the Department of Environment and Conservation, which has stabilised, is fully functional, and despite severe budget cuts over the past four years is now delivering positive environmental outcomes ” the recently announced Burrup peninsula Murujuga National Park, being one.
Unfortunately, governments waste taxpayers’ money by constantly changing what a previous government has done.
This is not to deliver real improvements in the portfolio, but for their own glory and political benefit.
They often do this in the ‘crowded’ political announcements period, running up to an election, when it is less likely anyone will ask awkward questions.
The Department of Environment and Conservation is the only government body equipped to conserve WA’s unique natural heritage. Should it be weakened by yet another wasteful repackaging exercise, it would mean a further setback for conservation in this State.