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Welcome, Environment Minister James Griffin, keep up the good work

Nature Conservation Council Acting Chief Executive Jacqui Mumford said: “I heartily welcome the appointment of James Griffin as the state’s next Environment Minister and urge him to continue to build on the solid foundations laid by his predecessor. 

“Mr Griffin clearly has a strong interest in the portfolio. In his maiden speech to parliament, he declared his commitment to protecting and promoting the extraordinary natural beauty of his Manly electorate. He also served as parliamentary secretary assisting the environment minister for some time. [1] 

“Today, Mr Griffin has been given the opportunity to significantly widen the scope of his vision by becoming chief protector of the priceless natural heritage of the whole of the state. I wish him well in this noble endeavour.  

“The conservation movement stands ready to work with Mr Griffin over coming months to resolve important outstanding issues, including developing and implementing long-overdue protections for the state’s threatened koalas, and tackling the state’s deforestation crisis by ending unsustainable native forest logging and land clearing. 

“We would also like to discuss giving marine life in the Sydney region the protection it so desperately needs. Mr Griffin was a strong supporter of the Sydney Marine Park proposals, which has sat on the shelf gathering dust for years."      

Outgoing Environment Minister Matt Kean 

“I would like to thank the outgoing minister, Matt Kean, on the behalf of the conservation movement for his efforts over the brief but fruitful time he held the portfolio," Ms Mumford said. 

“Mr Kean has been instrumental in ending the destructive culture wars around nature and environment policy, reviving the Liberal Party’s long interest in conservation.  

“Mr Kean has been the most effective and consequential environment minister NSW has had in many years, adding almost 600,000 hectares to the national parks system. 

“He has protected land at a rate of about 240,000 hectares a year, possibly as good a rate, if not better, than any other conservative environment minister in the state’s history.  

“Much of the land he added was in far west of the state, which has until now been profoundly underrepresented in the reserve system. 

“We hope Mr Griffin continues to enhance the reserve system in the same spirit to help NSW reach the target of protecting 17% of the state in national parks.” 

Ms Mumford also acknowledges the immense contribution Mr Kean to climate and energy policy not only in NSW, but nationally.  

“Mr Kean has laid the foundation for an orderly transition from coal to clean energy and we are pleased he will continue to hold the energy portfolio to ensure the reforms he has ushered through parliament are implemented,” she said. 


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