Will you sign?
Prime Minister Scott Morrison
Dear Prime Minister
I welcome the review of the federal environmental laws - the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) – and your government’s commitment to establish national standards to govern assessment and approval processes.
I do not support the devolving of federal approval powers to states and territories.
As noted in the review: "Australia's natural environment and iconic places are in an overall state of decline and are under increasing threat.”
"The current environmental trajectory is unsustainable."
The existing laws have also failed First Nation people. It is essential the EPBC be rebuilt to ensure a meaningful voice for Traditional Owners.
I support full reform of the laws to ensure they are fit for purpose for the problems of the 21st century – including climate change. They must be re-written in a way that will halt the decline of natural ecosystems and iconic places.
I call on your government to accept the recommendations from Graeme Samuel, the review's independent author, that "an independent compliance and enforcement regulator, that is not subject to actual or implied political direction from the Government Minister, should be established. The regulator should be responsible for monitoring compliance, enforcement and assurance. It should be properly resourced and have available to it a full toolkit of powers."
I support this call for a "strong, independent” regulator and urge your government to support the proposal as part of your final response to the review.