The NSW Government 'State Plan' to which all of NSW Government policy hinges, reflects a fettish for short term economic stimulation. To the incumbent Premier Rees, 'jobs, jobs, jobs' can only be good, irrespective of which unsustainable industry they are in, or how short term they may be. The State Plan is all about jobs at all costs. The triple bottom line has gone out the door. Rees Plan ranks the environment a priority level 4 and deems native forests only valuable for exploitation and their utility benefit to humans. [SOURCE: NSW State Plan]
Read Priority E4 (the '4' means it is ranked 4th): "Better outcomes for native vegetation, biodiversity, land, rivers, and coastal waterways. A healthy environment provides the basis for our primary industries, tourism and recreational activities.". It is all about how to utilise the natural environment, not to protect it.
This priority links to priority E8: "More people using parks, sporting and recreational facilities and participating in the arts" and to priority E1: "A secure and sustainable water supply for all users" and to priority P1: "Increased business investment."
It professes motherhoood biodiversity targets like:
* "By 2015 there is an increase in native vegetation extent and an improvement in native vegetation condition
* By 2015 there is an increase in the number of sustainable populations of a range of native fauna species
* By 2015 there is an increase in the recovery of threatened species, populations and ecological communities
* By 2015 there is a reduction in the impact of invasive species."
Apparently its delegated agency DECC (Department of Environment and Climate Change) keeps a scorecard, but the latest is dated 2006, three years ago.
Rees' ideology on the environment is clearly one of anthropocentric utility, if not more 19th Century abuse and exploitation, or otherwise simple neglect.
The State Plan has quashed local democracy when it comes to the environment.
Since the Carr Era, the NSW Labor Government has steadily introduced change after change to planning legislation that voids any local say in large development. It introduced a new Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act back in 2005 for what it described as 'Major Projects/Developments' giving the Minister of Planning ultimate authority for approval. Any large project deemed to be 'critical infrastructure' the Minister can overide local governments and approve. This can be a new mine, a power station, new pipeline , a new highway, a new desalination plant, whatever - even if it goes through high conservation value forests. The Minister can justify approval on the basis of being "essential for the State for economic, environmental or social reasons." The concentration of power in planning is with the Minister for Planning.
Environmental assessments have become watered down and Environmental Impact Statements virtually nonexistent. Public rights to appeal in the process have been removed, making NSW effectively an authoritarian state when it comes to land use development. Developers are having a field day. NSW coastal land is being subdivided and developed like never before.
The following quote criticising [hailing] the authority of the State rings a cord in NSW and the view of the Labor Government. Pity it came from someone even worse - Hitler - because it is so true:
"In their eyes the will of the people has no part whatever in the whole affair. For them the fact that the State exists is sufficient reason to consider it sacred and inviolable....The State no longer exists for the purpose of serving men but men exist for the purpose of adoring the authority of the State, which is vested in its functionaries, even down to the smallest official. So as to prevent this placid and ecstatic adoration from changing into something that might become in any way disturbing, the authority of the State is limited simply to the task of preserving order and tranquillity. Therewith it is no longer either a means or an end. The State must see that public peace and order are preserved and, in their turn, order and peace must make the existence of the State possible. All life must move between these two poles."
[Source: Mein Kampf, Vol. Two - The National Socialist Movement, Chapter II: 'The State']