Australia’s waterways and threatened species will be protected with an extra $203 million under a re-elected Morrison government. Prime Minister Scott Morrison will make the commitment in Melbourne on Friday, before flying to Brisbane for the second leaders’ debate with Bill Shorten.
“We have the best beaches, parks and rivers in the world and these measures support practical and meaningful activities that protect our environment and gets results,” Mr Morrison said.
“We will increase Australia’s recycling rates, tackle plastic waste and litter, accelerate work on new recycling schemes and continue action to halve food waste by 2030.”
This new national waste and recycling initiative includes a $100 million Australian Recycling Investment Fund through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
The fund will support manufacturing of lower-emission and energy-efficient recycled content products, such as recycled content plastics, paper and pulp.
Another $20 million will go towards accelerating work on new industry-led recycling schemes, including for batteries, electrical and electronic products, photovoltaic systems and plastic oil containers.
A further $10 million will go to establishing feral predator-free zones to create safe havens for threatened native species.
Mr Morrison has been campaigning in Tasmania and Perth, where the audience of undecided voters at the first leaders’ debate gave the win to Mr Shorten.
He’s also faced a week of trouble with candidates, losing two in Victoria over anti-Muslim and anti-gay online posts.
A third candidate, Jessica Whelan in Lyons, says derogatory social media comments she allegedly made about Muslims were doctored and says she will refer the matter to federal police.
“I don’t think it’s hard to believe in this day and age that images can be doctored,” Mr Morrison told reporters in Launceston.
But his staff were careful to shield Ms Whelan from the media during an agricultural show outside Launceston on Thursday, and she escaped in a car rather than answer questions.
Mr Morrison will front the Sky News-Courier Mail people’s forum in Brisbane on Friday night, when he and Mr Shorten will answer questions from 100 undecided voters.