Australia's natural environment has been altered and abused since British colonisation. The vast majority of its native forests have been wiped out; sheep, cattle and grain farming methods and clear-felling have contributed to soil salinity and destabilisation of huge quantities of arable land; bio diversity is shrinking; waterways have become prone to algal blooms destroying Australia's aquaculture; and our living environments are congested from over-population, under-resourcing and unregulated industrial pollution. Repairing the environmental damage will require a sustained effort from the whole of society.
- The PLP is committed to developing ecological sustainability for Australian society. It is crucial that Australia maintains biodiversity and generates, uses, and recycles its energy supplies without destroying the natural and social environment.
- A commitment to environmental sustainability means a commitment to a balanced approach to development and the generation and use of energy to ensure that our natural and social environment is not destroyed: a) Protecting the livelihood of those currently employed within industries that cannot be sustained, and promoting alternative jobs; b) Promoting more efficient use of current energy supplies and the development of renewable energy sources with a view to them eventually replacing fossil fuels, e.g. by subsidising such resources; c) Re-establishing public control over strategic energy resources and ensuring that national and international environmental standards are met; d) Reducing the use of fossil fuels; e) Extending the use of public transport and reducing the need for private cars; f) Comply with international treaties designed to combat climate change; g) Extending and enhancing domestic and industrial recycling at local and national level; h) Reward standards for industrial and consumer packaging which reduce reliance on non- renewable packaging; i) Consulting with building groups and workers to develop effective guidelines for environment-friendly building codes
- We support a forest and agricultural policy based on ecological, economic, and social responsibility. a) The policy to be based on sound land use with an aim to achieve accord with indigenous Australians affected by forestry practices. b) We must protect wilderness areas from harvesting and overuse. This includes old growth forests, other natural pristine landscapes and designated national parks, as well as protected and sensitive marine ecosystems (e.g. mangroves, estuaries, lakes, Great Barrier Reef). c) We will encourage the synthesis of farming and forestry for multiple use production, encouraging farm owners to undertake farm-forestry and plant woodlots on agricultural land. d) We propose joint ventures between Government bodies and farmers to provide capital for fencing, preparation, planting management and harvesting.
- For the Progressive Labour Party nuclear power is not an acceptable alternative to fossil fuels. It would only mean substituting one problematic energy source with another.
- The Progressive Labour Party will not allow further exploration of uranium deposits and will phase out uranium mining.