The final report of the independent 10-year review of Australia’s lead environmental legislation, The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act), was publicly released in January 2021. Over the course of this review, the EIANZ has been advocating strongly on behalf of its members in a bid to help shape this key piece of Australian environmental legislation.
The EIANZ calls on the Federal Government to now act to implement EPBC Act reforms consistent with the spirit of Prof. Samuel’s plan and recommendations and the Australian National Audit Office 2020 report. This includes refusing to “cherry-pick” the recommendations, providing the necessary additional funding and resourcing within the Department for effective and efficient delivery and properly engaging with the environment profession and the community.
The key priorities identified by the EIANZ are:
- National Environmental Standards: the EIANZ supports meaningful National Environmental Standards, the cornerstone recommendation of the Samuel Review.
- Indigenous engagement: the EIANZ endorses reform to ensure Indigenous Australians are listened to, and environmental and heritage decision-makers harness the value of Indigenous knowledge of managing Country.
- Compliance and enforcement: the EIANZ supports the establishment of an independent compliance and enforcement regulator.
- Bioregional planning: the EIANZ supports achieving better environmental through partnerships between the Commonwealth, states, territories and/or corporations, and by increasing stakeholder engagement.
- Informed decision-making: much more is needed to collect, collate, and make available relevant environmental information.
Environmental practitioners want legislation and a system that works to protect the environment. The EIANZ calls on the Federal Government to quickly implement Prof. Samuel’s recommendations and offers the expertise of our members to assist in the design of the implementation.
READ THE EIANZ STATEMENT HERE