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Nature neglected in campaign

Don Driscoll and Euan Ritchie write in The Conversation (19.4.16) about the risk that crucial environmental issues and heritage protection matters could be drowned out in the federal election campaign by more traditional concerns over employment and the economy.

‘The electioneering has begun. In a campaign set to be dominated by economic issues, the Coalition and Labor are locking horns over who can best manage our finances, protect jobs and make housing more affordable. The Greens predictably decry the major parties, including their cavalier climate-change policies.

‘These are important issues, but are they highest priority on the political agenda? An arguably even greater issue exists that nobody is seriously championing, but which impacts all of us, socially, environmentally and economically.

‘Our natural heritage – the plants, animals and other organisms that help define Australia’s identity – are in dire straits. Yet this biodiversity crisis is barely mentioned in political discourse, nor is it foremost in the public consciousness.’

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