Greens to fight government over environment at COAG

THE Greens are set to fight the Federal Government's push to hand over Commonwealth environmental regulation to the states this week.

The handover of the nation's most powerful environmental protections, including responsibility for World Heritage areas, is likely to go ahead during a Council of Australian Government's meeting this Friday.

Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters on Sunday called for all Australians to join the party's campaign against the handover.

The handover, led by Environment Minister Tony Burke, and not opposed by the Coalition, was originally the product of a business meeting in which Prime Minister Julia Gillard asked for recommendations to ease the regulatory burden on businesses.

But Senator Waters said the move was an attack on the nation's environment by "the old parties and the mining magnates".

She said more than 5000 people had already signed a petition to ask Mr Burke to reverse his decision, because it put World Heritage areas like the Great Barrier Reef, and threatened species at risk.

"Both of the old parties are allowing Queensland's beautiful Great Barrier Reef to be trashed for fossil fuel exports," she said.

Senator Waters' bill to make the handover unlawful was introduced in the Senate last week, and is currently under inquiry.

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