The Guardian: Australia being unable to afford greater environmental protection is a government myth that refuses to die

By Euan Ritchie

Redirecting massive defence spending and implementing a windfalls gains tax in the 2023 federal budget could go a long way to saving our environment.

Like trickle-down economics or goldfish memories only being three seconds long, there’s a myth that continues to haunt this nation, and, like a zombie, it refuses to die. This myth, and the damage it inflicts, has been aided and abetted by the Australian government. This deception is propagated and perpetuated for political purposes. What is this myth? The notion that our government simply can’t afford to greatly increase spending on environmental protection and recovery.

‘Australia’s more than 1,900 threatened species in dire need of increased care are reduced to 110 priority species with insufficient additional funding.’ Photograph: Brad Leue/Alamy

As we approach another federal budget, the government’s priorities are writ large. At the same time, we continue to bear witness to – and suffer through – the devastating impacts of a changing and deteriorating climatecollapsing ecosystems and an increasing number of threatened species racing towards extinction.

Continuing to choose not to significantly lift environmental spending – despite much public support to do so – and the mealy-mouthed attempts and contortions to justify this callous neglect are a national disgrace. It betrays the realities of koalas now being endangered across much of the species distribution, the Great Barrier Reef losing its colour as a result of repeated bleaching events and state of the environment reports consistently demonstrating that, overall, our environment is in poor condition and deteriorating towards flatlining.

Read the full article on The Guardian website.