MEDIA RELEASE: LABOR WILL STRENGTHEN THE LAW TO PROTECT AUSTRALIA’S ENVIRONMENT AND HERITAGE
LABOR WILL STRENGTHEN THE LAW TO PROTECT AUSTRALIA’S ENVIRONMENT AND HERITAGE
Labor is today announcing a new policy which if implemented would have given the Environment Minister the power to stop our World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House from being treated as nothing more than a billboard.
If elected a Shorten Labor Government will ensure the Environment Minister has the power to regulate to protect our environment and heritage sites.
At the moment, plans officially registered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act can’t be enforced.
We recently saw the Opera House used as a billboard.
The management plan for the Opera House specifically says that this building is not meant to be used as a billboard “The Sydney Opera House exterior, particularly the shells (and even the Tarpeian Wall face), should not be regarded as a giant billboard or commercial / advertising opportunity” (page 185, Respecting the Vision: Sydney Opera House – a Conservation Management Plan).
Yet rather than follow the plan, the Prime Minister endorsed the reduction of the Opera House's iconic sails to being "the biggest billboard Sydney has”.
Labor will ensure that the words that are in the plans made under the EPBC Act aren’t just nice ideas.
The EPBC Act includes management plans, recovery plans and threat abatement plans. These plans need to be taken seriously and Labor will change the law so the Minister can regulate where plans exist.