ENVIRONMENT Minister Tony Burke has dismissed a Greens attack on the government's green credentials as a political manoeuvre.Yesterday, Australian Greens leader Christine Milne accused the Gillard Government of walking away from an agreement it forged with the minor party after the 2010 election when there was a hung parliament.
She was particularly scathing of Labor's relationship with the mining industry and Mr Burke's decisions to grant mining approvals for the Tarkine in Tasmania and approve more coal seam gas mining.
Mr Burke said there had never been a time in Australia's history when so much land had become conservation areas.
He described Senator Milne's comments as a "political manoeuvre" that Greens supporters will be shaking their heads over.
"They want to be able to complain that nothing's good enough," Mr Burke told ABC Television.
Mr Burke said under his watch, Australia had become a world leader in ocean protection with the biggest network of marine parks, the Murray Darling dispute was resolved and the forestry war in Tasmania had ended.
"You won't find a term of government where you've had those sorts of environmental outcomes in one term," he said.
Mr Burke said it had been a long time since the Greens were an environment party.
He said Greens MP Adam Bandt had only asked him one question about the environment in the two years he'd sat in the lower house.
Mr Burke said Senator Milne's attack crystallised the two parties' approaches to the environment.
"When I look at an environmental decision, I look at whether it is good or bad depending on what you're protecting," he said.
"For the Greens they seem to look at whether it's good or bad depending on how many jobs you are destroying."
He dismissed the Greens' claims that Labor was too cosy with the mining industry and said tough conditions were imposed on approvals.
The Greens only want to talk about the Tarkine, Mr Burke said.
"They don't want to talk about the Tasmanian forestry agreement which is half a million hectares including the most precious parts of the Tarkine," he said.
"They just want to focus on knocking over jobs."