The Albanese Government responded today to the once-in-a-decade independent review of Australia’s national environment laws – the review which found our laws were failing to protect nature, and that without fundamental reform we will continue to see the decline of our country's iconic landscapes and the extinction of our threatened plants and animals.
The government’s response today signposts the changes to our nature laws they will bring to Parliament in the new year. The response isn’t perfect. But it is an encouraging start.
In the response we see seeds of hope for the rivers, forests and animals that make this continent incredible. This is thanks to the dedication of everyone who has spoken up for strong national laws that actually protect nature, with a persistence and dedication the federal government could not ignore.
Progress only happens because of committed people like you – speaking out for what’s right, and helping power organisations like ours to run ambitious campaigns to make governments and businesses step up.
For close to a decade now we have all persevered, though setbacks and pushbacks, to stop successive governments’ attempts to make our environmental protection laws even weaker.
Now, we’re heading in the direction of actually protecting and restoring nature in Australia – and we must keep speaking up together to turn these promising commitments into meaningful and bold action.
Will you help us keep up the momentum by giving today so we can run powerful campaigns for nature in 2023?
Today, after many years of speaking out for nature, we can celebrate a small but critical step forward.
Positive change happens because people step up and show up.
From signing petitions. Running events out in nature. Writing to, calling, meeting elected representatives. Making submissions. Spreading the word. Building a loud and vibrant movement of people.
Over and over, you spoke up for strong nature laws, and an independent and well-resourced regulator to enforce them. Community power has pushed the Albanese Government towards their much-anticipated response today to Professor Graeme Samuel’s 2020 review of national environmental laws, including welcome plans like:
We now have a real chance of achieving laws that actually protect nature. But our work is not yet done.
As the government moves to draft legislation to make these reforms a reality, we must keep the pressure up. As they currently stand, the government’s plans do not go far enough, quickly enough to end nature destruction and restore nature to health by the end of the decade.
There is no mention of adding a climate trigger to the law – which allows the climate impacts of coal and gas projects to continue to be ignored.
Our team is getting to work delving into the details of the announcement, and we will publish our full analysis on our website as soon as we can. The real test of success for these reforms will be whether they end Australia’s extinction crisis by protecting our unique wildlife, plants and ecosystems from destruction through land clearing, logging and climate change.
In the coming days, Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek will travel to Montreal, Canada, for the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15), where countries are negotiating an international agreement deciding how they will work together to protect and restore nature.
Thousands of community members have been calling on the Minister to advocate for strong global goals to reverse nature destruction – including yesterday when hundreds of us urged Minister Plibersek and Prime Minister Albanese to step up for nature across social media, trending #beforeitsgone at #3 in Australia on Twitter. Awesome work to everyone involved – the pictures and messages you shared were each powerful reminders to our representatives to aim high.
My colleagues are on the ground in Montreal – you can sign up for the People’s Pass – a COP15 Newsletter to get updates from the most important global nature summit this decade straight to your inbox, including what our government commits to, interviews and conversations, and stories of hope and progress.
It’s going to be a big year full of opportunity ahead. Let’s make the most of it.
Let’s continue to grow our thriving movement for nature – with people all across the country protecting and restoring our bush, waterways and green spaces.
Let’s continue to push the government to step up and actually introduce those strong laws to protect nature, with the funding to restore it.
You can power this critical work into the new year and beyond. Please give today to protect and restore the nature we love.
Header: Annette Ruzicka