The Morrison Government is trying to make disastrous changes to our environment laws that will make them even weaker — pushing our animals closer to the brink of extinction.
Australia holds the world record for the most mammal extinctions, and is ranked 4th for animal extinctions globally.
But this hasn’t stopped the federal government from trying to weaken our national environment law: known as the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.
Over the next few weeks, the Morrison Government will try to make disastrous changes to our environment laws that will make them even weaker — pushing our animals closer to the brink of extinction.
Greater bilbies are listed as vulnerable. Photo: Roland Seitre/naturepl.com
In early 2020, the Morrison Government tried to hand over national environmental decision-making powers to the states and territories, before the once-in-a-decade review of our environment laws was even complete. But their move was blocked in the senate.
Then, in October 2020, Professor Graeme Samuel completed the comprehensive review of the EPBC Act — which only happens every 10 years.
More than 30,000 people and organisations contributed to this review which found our national environment law was “outdated”, “ineffective” and “not fit to address current or future environmental challenges” like climate change and extinction.
Professor Samuel listed 38 recommendations on how to fix our broken environment laws with a clear roadmap on how to get there.
It included the urgent need for strong National Environmental Standards and urged the government not to cherry-pick recommendations to suit its agenda
Many business and environment groups endorsed Professor Samuel’s review, and see it as a way forward.
“It was probably the first time ever in this country that business communities and environmentalists came together to say, ‘hey, we’ve got a shared solution,’” says Kelly O’Shanassy, ACF’s CEO.
“It was a win win.”
It was probably the first time ever in this country that business communities and environmentalists came together to say, ‘hey, we’ve got a shared solution'.
But instead of responding to Professor Samuel’s 38 interconnected recommendations, the Morrison Government is cherry-picking a few measures and proposing a new EPBC Bill.
Their hope is these cherry-picked measures will help them build support in the senate for finally hand-balling national environmental decision-making powers to the states.
Platypus are listed as vulnerable in Victoria. Photo: Doug Gimesy
The new bill is called the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Standards and Assurance) Bill 2021.
It does two main things:
Which sounds good. Except it’s not. Here’s why:
Spotted-tail quolls are currently endangered. Photo: Craig Dingle/Shutterstock
These laws need fixing — not butchering.
Australia needs laws that actually protect the wildlife we love.
Help make Australia’s extinction crisis visible — and call on the Morrison Government to create laws that actually protect wildlife.
Share the missing animal profiles, their pictures, their posters, on your social media, using #MissingWildlife.
Header: Eastern curlews are critically endangered. Photo: Kristian Bell/Shutterstock