Welcome commitment for new Environment Act for Australia
EDO NSW welcomes the commitment from the Australian Labor Party to enact a new National Environment Act and establish a new national Environment Protection Authority if elected in 2019.
17 December 2018: The current Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) (written nearly 20 years ago) fails to effectively conserve and manage Australia’s unique and irreplaceable environment. It also fails to address the biggest environmental challenges we face – climate change, sustainable natural resource management and the extinction crisis. Nor does it effectively address emerging challenges such as marine plastic pollution.
This high level commitment to a new Act and a new institution is a significant step, but the detail of how a new regulatory system would work in practice is crucial. And while the commitment does not include a national Environment Commission to set binding national standards to truly protect our natural world, it does provide a strong starting point for a more detailed commitment in coming months.
EDO NSW is proud to be at the leading edge of this conversation, from our 100-page submission on the first review of the EPBC Act a decade ago, to our recent work with the Australian Panel of Experts on Environmental Law and the Places You Love Alliance. With our client HSI, we have already drafted a report on best practice provisions needed in new national laws to effectively protect biodiversity and stop the trajectories of decline [Next Generation Biodiversity Laws - June 2018].
Our vision is for a national environmental law that effectively addresses the major environmental challenges with enforceable plans and standards and enshrines accountable and transparent decision-making processes.
Based on our extensive experience across Australia and our wealth of law reform recommendations, we look forward to working with any future government to realise this vision.