The House of Representatives just passed laws to create a new national environment protection authority (Environment Protection Australia) a new data body (Environment Information Australia) and other reforms to crack down on illegal activities that are pushing our precious wildlife to the brink. 

Before these laws head to the Senate for further debate, we have an important opportunity to improve them.

From now until Monday 15 July, our Parliament will be accepting submissions from the community on how the laws that will set up the independent regulator should function – the scope of its powers, how it maintains independence from the government of the day, and the extent to which it can intervene in potentially illegal cases of habitat destruction.

How to make your submission

To make your submission, follow these steps:

  1. Write your submission in a document (such as Microsoft Word). The writing tips and talking points below may help.
  2. Save your document with a clear name, so you can find it easily. For example: Your name EPA submission 2024
  3. Upload your submission file on the Senate Environment and Communications Committee website.
  4. Report back! Once you've made your submission, take 30 seconds to let us know by clicking the "I made a submission" button on this page. That helps to know just how many folks are speaking up on these Bills – called the "Nature Positive Bills" – and means we can keep you updated as the laws heads to the Senate. 

Want more information? Check out our blog explaining the Nature Positive Bills.

Submission guide

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A good submission should:

  • begin with a short introduction about yourself or the organisation you represent
  • highlight your own perspectives
  • be concise and generally no longer than four to five pages – but as an individual, even half a page of writing from you addressing these bills, is a significant contribution!
  • emphasise the key points so that they are clear
  • outline not only what the issues with the Bills are but how problems can be addressed – as the committee looks to submissions for ideas to make recommendations
  • if you include documents, only include documents that directly relate to your key points
  • only include information you would be happy to see published on the internet.

These bills relate to the establishment of Environment Protection Australia and Environment Information Australia and a limited number of changes to the EPBC Act including increases in fines and new enforcement powers.

It is important that your submission addresses these proposals, but we also think it is important to send a strong message that the complete overhaul of our failing national nature protection laws is an urgent priority. We need to push the government to consider more reforms to the EPBC Act now, and for a clearer commitment and time frame for delivering the full reform package.


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Here are some key points that you could use in your submission. To make them even more powerful, you can rewrite them in your own words and/or add your additional ideas and experience:

  • ACF and other conservation groups have pushed for a national EPA for many years and we welcome the government’s commitment to implement this important reform. BUT it is important this is done well – the new EPA needs to be strong, independent and accountable to ensure that laws are enforced and decision making is free from political interference.
  • Key changes to the current Bill which would help deliver this include a board made up of people with suitable qualifications and experience. The Board would appoint the CEO, set strategy and direction for the EPA, and make sure it is doing its job.
  • Communities are too easily brushed off when they raise the alarm about destruction in our bush. The EPA should be required to:
    • Act on complaints that someone is taking an action that harms threatened species habitat or other protected matters without seeking an approval; and
    • Respond to requests to use powerful new Environment Protections Orders to protect the environment where someone is breaking the law or failing to comply with an approval
  • The government should consider other reforms to the EPBC Act that can be made now, rather than delaying important improvements to nature protection. Key changes that could be made without further delay include:
    • Clearly defining unacceptable impacts, ruling out destruction of critical habitat and other unacceptable impacts upfront rather than allowing these proposals even get into assessment and approval system.
    • Strengthening community rights and consultation opportunities under the EPBC Act.
    • Halting unregulated deforestation by repealing exemptions for “continuous use” and native forest logging under Regional Forest Agreements.
    • Fixing the blind spot in our current national nature protections laws which contain no explicit requirement to consider the climate harm caused by new fossil fuel projects put forward for approval.


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Write your submission as a document that can be uploaded following the instructions on the Senate Environment and Communications Committee website.


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