Australia has federal laws that are designed to protect the environment. The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) is the national legislation that is designed to ‘protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places’.
The EPBC Act has comprehensively failed to protect important places, and the species that live within them.
An independent review of the legislation occurs once every 10 years. The current review is due to publish its final report in October.
Environment groups have asked the government to extend the timeframe for the draft and final reports to ensure there will be space for meaningful consultation given the impacts of this summer’s fires and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
But now the federal government intends to further weaken the already inadequate legislation during the COVID-19 crisis before the review is finished!
We must oppose this attempt to fast track developments.
We need meaningful national laws that will actually prioritise the protection of the environment over the interests of large corporations.
The government must not push through changes while the community is respecting the self isolation measures that make direct protest impossible.