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Professor Peter Burnett has written about the Albanese government’s Nature Positive Plan reforms on his blog called Sustainability Bites. Burnett raises an important question that needs to be addressed: Who will pay for nature positive?

He writes:

The question lurking behind the nature positive reforms is, who will pay the extra cost of caring for the environment?

The easy answer in the past has been ‘no-one’. Hopefully that’s now off the table.

Provided the government doesn’t give the easy answer and water ‘nature positive’ down, it will have to apportion the extra costs across business and the wider economy, affecting the states; and the federal budget.

If a watered down version of nature positive is what we get, we will continue to lose nature at alarming rates. For too long we’ve been ignoring or outright exploiting the value that nature brings. It’s time to pay up. And we all need to do this, together.

Businesses need to acknowledge the true extent of the natural resources that they manage, maintain or exploit.

Both State and Federal governments need to acknowledge their share of the nature debt.

The federal government needs to provide clear leadership by stewarding the reforms with nature’s needs front and centre, not what the lobbyists want.

And the rest of us need to use our right to vote to make it clear that we want to put an end to the destruction of Australia’s natural capital. We have to do this if we want nature positive to become a reality.