Once every decade, the Australian Government has to review our national environment law, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. That review is happening right now, and the panel of experts reviewing the law would like to know what matters to you.
Each of us have been given until 17 April 2020 to write to the independent review and have our say before its critical report back to the Australian government later this year. We have an opportunity to make our environmental laws stronger, to better protect endangered wildlife in our oceans and on the land.
The Australian Marine Conservation Society suggested:
How you can help
Use this Government website to make a brief comment. Here’s some requests you can make:
- Create a new Environment Act that can stem the tide of Australia’s extinction crisis, protect habitats and ecosystems from the impacts of climate change and prioritise protection of the environment above all other considerations.
- Remove political influence from decision-making under the EPBC Act, by setting up an independent Environment Protection Agency and National Environment Commission. These institutions would assess, approve and enforce nationally important environmental issues.
- Make it a legal requirement that all species listed as protected on the EPBC Act have a fully funded plan for the species’ recovery.
- Change the EPBC Act to include a climate change ‘trigger’ for all environmental assessments, so the impacts of climate change for any development, including coal mines, is considered. Climate change and stopping the impacts on Australia’s ecosystems are not currently included in the EPBC Act.
Basha Stasak, Nature Program Manager at Australian Conservation Foundation, wrote:
Australia’s environment laws not good enough
“A burnt summer and a quarantined autumn – it’s been a troubling start to the year.
I don’t know about you, but I find myself reflecting on what really matters. We’re only as healthy as the least healthy in our communities.
We depend on nature. The fresh air we breathe, the clean water we drink – we are always connected to nature, and have a duty to protect it.
Australia’s national environment laws are not good enough.
Right now, these laws are under review for the first time in ten years. Even though everything is disrupted, this is a critical opportunity to speak out for nature, and help save many animals and plants. It won’t come again.
So, will you join me and thousands of others demanding environment laws that actually keep nature and people healthy?
We have until the 17 April 2020 deadline to write to the independent review and have our say before its critical report back to our government later this year.
Here are two ways to have your voice heard:
In your comment, you could talk about:
- Your personal connection to nature
- How the EPBC Act – our national environment laws – are currently not protecting nature e.g. loggers destroying too much habitat, and pushing Australian plants and animals to the brink of extinction.
- How the EPBC Act needs to be strengthened to protect our living world
Once you’re done, report back to us so we can track our collective impact.
A longer submission requires answering terms of reference and will take some time to complete. But the review will treat submissions with a bit more weight than comments.
You can also check out our handy guide to writing a submission.
By raising our voices now, we can help strengthen our laws so they properly protect our living world. Imagine an Australia where reefs, rivers, forests and wildlife are free from pollution, destruction and extinction.
It’s been a worrying start to the year, but we can come together to help give it a finish full of hope and life.
Nature Program Manager, ACF
“If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that together, we are strong. Together, we can make our law the safeguard that nature needs.”
~ Tooni Mahto, Campaign Manager, Australian Marine Conservation Society