ACF welcomes recommendations by the Senate inquiry into species extinction for new national environment laws and an independent federal Environment Protection Authority
The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has welcomed the recommendations of the Senate inquiry into our faunal extinction crisis that has called for the establishment of new national environment laws and an independent federal Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
The interim inquiry report published late last night makes clear that Australia’s current national endangered species and nature protection regime is failing to save the creatures we love from habitat destruction, invasive species, climate change and other destructive forces.
Since the arrival of Europeans 28 mammals have been formally declared extinct in Australia, the worst rate in the world. And in the 20 years since Australia’s current federal environment laws came into effect an area of threatened species habitat larger than the size of Tasmania has been destroyed.
ACF Nature Campaign Manager, Basha Stasak, said the Senate report clearly articulated major reform is necessary to save Australia’s precious threatened fauna and flora like the Regent honeyeater, Mountain pygmy-possum and Corroboree frog.
“ACF welcomes the recommendations of the faunal extinction crisis inquiry that a new environment act and a national EPA are needed to save our native species,” Ms Stasak said.
“Months of hearings and hundreds of submissions have sent a clear message to our elected representatives that our current national environment laws are failing to protect Australia’s unique natural values.
“This has been exacerbated by years of deep budget cuts to environmental programs by the Federal Government.
“ACF has collected the signatures of over 177,000 Australians who are demanding stronger environment laws and a new EPA. On Saturday we delivered this petition to Labor, and on Wednesday did likewise with the Coalition.
“We welcome the Greens’ commitments to strong new national environmental laws and Labor’s commitment to establish a new national environment act and a federal Environment Protection Authority. Labor must detail what its new laws will cover and how they would be resourced in the next term of government if it wins the upcoming federal election.
“The solution to our extinction crisis is clear. We need stronger new laws that actually protect nature, backed by an independent regulator to oversee them. We need greater funding for recovery programs and habitat restoration. And we need real climate action that ensures our ecosystem are not weakened beyond repair.”