The Australian Conservation Foundation today delivered the biggest petition in the environment group’s 55-year history to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Environment Minister Sussan Ley.
As the Morrison Government tries to weaken the national environment law by handing federal approval powers to states and territories, ACF’s 409,908-signature petition calls for stronger laws to protect nature and bring Australia’s wildlife back from the brink.
“Today I sent to the Prime Minister and Minister Ley a petition from 409,908 Australians who disagree with the Morrison Government’s move to weaken our national environment law,” said ACF’s Chief Executive Officer, Kelly O’Shanassy.
“As many people as the entire population of Canberra have signed this petition.
“In my covering letter to the PM and Minister Ley I pointed out that as recently as March this year a significant majority of Australians – including a majority of Coalition voters – emphasised their concern for nature in a national YouGov survey.
“Almost nine in 10 Australians (87%) said unless something was done to protect natural habitats following the bushfires, wildlife species were at risk of extinction.
“Rushing to devolve environmental approval powers to states will fast track the extinction of more much-loved Australian wildlife.
“Labor, Greens and independent Zali Steggall oppose the Government’s proposed changes, while crossbenchers Jacqui Lambie and Rex Patrick want to see the bill sent to a Senate committee for closer scrutiny.
“It is not too late for the Government to change its strategy to instead strengthen Australia’s environment laws and establish an independent regulator to enforce them, as Professor Graeme Samuel recently recommended.
“We appeal to Prime Minister Scott Morrison to listen to the experts – and listen to the people – by strengthening our failing environment protection laws.”