Socialist environment policy launched


Socialist environment policy launched

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — "For over 200 years, capitalism has inflicted serious damage on Australia's natural and fragile environment", Dr Coral Wynter told a meeting here on February 17, launching the Democratic Socialist environment policy for the federal election.

Dr Wynter, a biochemist and environmental activist, is the Democratic Socialist candidate for Griffith, south of the Brisbane River.

Australia's 70% arid lands have been "ruthlessly overstocked", and overuse of fertilisers and irrigation has led to the poisoning of vast areas of farmland.

Farmers who want to change to an ecological mode of production should be subsidised and helped to change over, Wynter said.

"The technology already exists to clean up and control pollution and to recycle industrial and domestic waste, and to introduce environmentally safe production processes. But it is not used.

"The poisoning and destruction of the environment is a crime that threatens human survival. Corporations which violate environmental standards would be forced to pay the full cost of clean-up, and all those whose health has suffered would be compensated. Corporations and industrial manufacturers will be forced to install pollution control equipment and prohibited from passing the cost on to consumers", she said.

Other topics covered by Wynter in her speech included protection of endangered species, creating a safe work environment, public transport and traffic problems, opposition to sand mining in national parks, and the continuing threat of a nuclear power industry.

"The social and economic changes necessary to tackle this environmental crisis can be achieved democratically with the support of the majority of the population. A political movement is needed based on ecological principles, human solidarity, democracy and socialism", Wynter concluded.