The Australian Conservation Foundation’s biggest ever petition, calling for parliamentarians to reject a proposed amendment to weaken environment laws, has been tabled in the Senate.

The petition was signed by 105,252 people. It was tabled in the Senate today, World Wildlife Day, by Queensland Senator Glenn Lazarus. The petition calls on Senators to:

  • Reject the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Standing) Bill 2015, which will repeal Section 487 of the EPBC Act and stop communities from holding governments to account.
  • Reject the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Bilateral Agreement Implementation) Bill 2014 which will weaken environmental protection by putting under-resourced state governments in charge of matters of national environmental significance.
  • Call for a new generation of environment laws and a robust, transparent approvals process that keeps our air, water, wildlife and the places we love thriving.

ACF’s chief executive Kelly O’Shanassy said the size of the petition was unprecedented in the national environment group’s 50-year history.

“More than 100,000 Australians have today declared they are worried national nature protection laws are not actually protecting our air, water, wildlife and places we love like the Great Barrier Reef, Tasmania’s forests and the beautiful landscapes of northern Australia.

“The evidence is in the media day after day – a port is approved on the ecologically-sensitive Tiwi Islands without any environmental assessment, Glencore’s McArthur River zinc mine is allowed to operate with no known solutions to its massive toxic waste problem, the federal government approves Adani’s mega coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, even though scientists say burning all that coal could mean the death of the Great Barrier Reef.

“The laws that protect nature are the foundations of a thriving Australia, but it’s clear they are not strong enough to keep the places we love safe and healthy.

“We urge all parliamentarians to listen to these concerns and start planning a new generation of laws that will do the job of protecting life in Australia,” she said.

ACF Media Enquiries

Journalists with enquiries may contact Tom Arup on 0402 482 910. For all other enquiries please call 1800 223 669 or email action@acf.org.au.