Australia is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. With such incredible plants, wildlife and ecosystems, we have a vital responsibility to look after them, safeguard the air we breathe, the water we drink and the people and places we love. 

But right now, our nature protection system is failing. Our national environment law – the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation or EPBC Act – is weak, outdated and full of holes. It is too weak to stop logging companies bulldozing critically important forests. It is failing to stop coal companies digging mines, polluting our air and water – and doesn’t even mention the word ‘climate change’. 

Under these laws, Australia has become a global deforestation hotspot, with one of the worst rates of mammal extinction in the world. Climate damage is bleaching our reefs and our oceans are choking with plastic. Each year, 3000 people in Australia die from air pollution from cars, factories and coal-burning power plants. As the recent bushfires so starkly remind us, Australia is particularly vulnerable to climate impacts.

We urgently need strong environment laws to protect the places and people we love, and bring our wildlife and ecosystems back from the brink.

Our federal environment law – the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) – is currently undergoing a once-in-a-decade review. This is an important opportunity for concerned citizens to advocate to strengthen this law so it properly protects nature in Australia.

Here's how to have your say: 

1. Leave a brief comment 

If you’re short on time, you can send a brief comment under 300 words. The reviewers won't treat brief comments as formal submissions, but they will read and consider them.

2. Make a formal submission

The independent panel is keen to hear from concerned citizens – your views and insights on our national environment law, how it has operated, the challenges ahead it should address, and your ideas for the future. All Australians are invited to participate.

In order for your submission to be considered, it must be high quality and address specific criteria. So make a cup of tea, check out our full guide to writing an effective submission and get writing! 

Once it's ready, upload and send your submission.

If you have any questions about writing your submission, please get in touch at contactus@acf.org.au.

3. Let us know when you're done!

Let us know you've made a submission, so we can see how many people are speaking out for nature, and keep you up to date with the Review process!

What to include in your submission

  • Start by introducing yourself, why you care about the environment and why you've taken the time to make a submission.
  • Identify the key issues that you want to raise and why they concern you. 
  • Add your own perspective and experiences. For example, you may like to explain your experience advocating to save a place or species, dealing with inappropriate development, or not having the resources or political will to protect your local habitat for wildlife.
  • Use evidence and data to support your statements. You can find a list of resources, scientific studies and analysis by expert environmental lawyers at the end of our submission guide
  • Be polite, respectful and clear. A lot is at stake, but the review team will dismiss submissions that are rude or target individual public servants or Members of Parliament.

Check out this submission guide for tips and more detail!