Sunday, 4th December 2017
Message from Penny Sharpe MLC to the Save the Trees and Animals Rally
Thank you all for attending today’s rally for our trees and animals, and while I cannot be there in person I want to send you this message.
I am proud to support today’s rally on behalf of the New South Wales Labor Opposition, because what has happened to our treasured heritage trees along Anzac Parade, and indeed across our city, is nothing short of environmental vandalism.
The worst thing about the destruction of these trees is that it is simply unnecessary. On Anzac Parade for example, proper and considered planning would ensure that we could build light rail and keep our precious trees.
But the fact is, the Government has terrible form when it comes to dealing with trees – whether it is the 10/50 laws where thousands of trees were torn down so that people could improve their views; or the return to broadscale land clearing thanks to the Government’s so-called biodiversity laws; whether it is the watering down of environmental protections for public land owned by all of us, Crown land; or the recent ripping up of threatened ironbark forest to build a temporary carpark for the WestConnex project.
The government of Mike Baird is nothing if not committed to destroying the natural environment of New South Wales.
At a time when we know there are more than 1,000 species threatened with extinction in New South Wales, the best thing we can do to stem that tide is to keep the habitat we have left – whether it’s in the city, the country, or along the coast, it doesn’t matter: preserving habitat is essential.
Across Sydney, trees in urban settings play so many roles – they provide vital habitat for native species; their cooling effect keeps city temperatures down as the effects of climate change grow; they help to purify the air we breathe; and as we’ve seen with the loss of the Anzac Parade trees, they are a part of our community heritage and wellbeing.
This government has thrown all of that out the window.
Labor will stand with the community to protect out trees, protect the habitat of our native species, and fight for a healthy environment now and for the future.
Thank you, and let’s keep campaigning.
Penny Sharpe MLC
Shadow Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Shadow Minister for Trade, Tourism & Major Events