Aug 11, 2020
A recent review has concluded that national environment laws aren't working: in fact things are getting worse.
Friends of the Earth are calling on Scott Morrison to implement the recommendations of that review which says that we need:
- to rebuild and strengthen the national environment laws
- legally enforceable national environment standards
- a strong, independent regulatory body to oversee the laws
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.
Could Water Carting in the NT be a Short Term Option for Communities Drinking Uranium Tainted Water?
Feb 03, 2020
Friends of the Earth is deeply concerned to see a number of communities in the Northern Territory consuming drinking water with levels of uranium and radiological properties which pose a risk to community health.
Nov 22, 2019
The prime minister, Scott Morrison, has told the Business Council of Australia that he wants to ‘overhaul’ environmental approvals for major projects as part of an attempt to ‘further streamline’ the industrial relations system.
History has repeatedly shown that any deregulation government approvals is bad for workers and bad for the environment.
Mr Morrison says the federal government wants to “get major projects off the ground sooner” by reducing the length of time it takes for businesses to navigate environmental approvals.
This is part of an ongoing campaign by his government to cut what they call ‘green tape’.
Major environmental projects always bring substantial ecological or climate costs. Over years Australian and state and territory governments have established approvals processes that seek to find the right balance between approving large projects and protecting the environment.
While we have never had a perfect national approvals system, it is essential we do not lose the processes currently in place.
‘Cutting Green Tape’ is code for ‘let business do what it wants’. In the real world, it will mean large resource companies being given the green light to cut corners and get their projects waved through by government.
This is not an agenda that is acceptable to the majority of the Australian people.
Dear Prime Minister
I am appalled by your plan to ‘overhaul’ environmental approvals for major projects to “get major projects off the ground sooner” by reducing the length of time it takes for businesses to navigate environmental approvals.
Major projects, by definition, will have major environmental impacts.
It is essential that Australia has robust assessment and approval processes to ensure that only sustainable projects are approved. Large projects will be in operation for years. It is essential we don’t lock in destructive projects simply because your government wants to fast track major projects like mining and energy projects and major roads.
The approvals process must be thorough. It must be credible. It must not fast track projects with unacceptably high environmental or social impacts.