The Australian Conservation Foundation has welcomed Labor’s commitment to work with stakeholders to reform national environment law and to establish an independent Environment Protection Agency, as recommended by the Samuel Review.
“If Labor wins government, ACF looks forward to working with an Albanese Government to ensure the fundamental reforms that are needed to end Australia’s extinction crisis,” ACF Chief Executive Kelly O’Shanassy said.
“Professor Samuel’s landmark report warned Australia’s environment laws were outdated and ineffective.
“For too long these laws have not been properly enforced and ACF has long argued that we need a well-resourced independent regulator.
“The EPA’s proposed data custodian role would also help to address the deficiencies identified by Professor Samuel and ensure that decision-makers, business and the community have access to the best available data, information and science.
“Australia has one of the world’s highest extinction rates and since the EPBC Act came into force more than 20 years ago, the list of threatened species and ecosystems has continued to grow.
“Yet research conducted for ACF shows 95% of Australians agree it’s important to protect nature for future generations to enjoy.
“In order to achieve that, urgent reform of Australia’s national environment laws is needed.
“ACF also welcomes Labor’s commitment to strong international environmental leadership ahead of the upcoming international negotiations on a new Global Deal for Nature.
“We need the Australian Government to champion strong and ambitious goals and targets to halt and reverse biodiversity destruction and end species extinction in the upcoming negotiations, and then make sure those goals and targets are achieved here on the ground in Australia.”