Greens back calls for review of Australia's environment laws to be extended
The Greens have backed the calls by some of Australia’s biggest environmental organisations to extend the timeframe for the review of Australia’s environmental laws.
Greens Spokesperson for the Environment Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said with the review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) only occurring every 10 years, it was important to make sure consultation and deliberation was adequate.
“Australia is in the midst of its second crisis since the EPBC Act Review commenced with the bushfires causing devastation for months and now COVID-19 causing major disruption to life as we know it,” Senator Hanson-Young said.
“The Environment Minister should extend the timeframe for completing this review. Our environmental laws have long needed a major overhaul as they are failing in their purpose to protect our precious flora and fauna, but this review process must be done right.
“I asked the Minister to extend the Review during a meeting with her last week, but she declined. I urge her to reconsider and not miss the opportunity to ensure proper consultation, consideration of the impact of the bushfires on our environment and site visits to areas the EPBC Act is meant to protect.”
Senator Hanson-Young also raised concerns that there is no longer anyone with environmental law expertise on the panel.
“This is a review of Australia’s environmental laws, it is important that someone with those skills and expertise is on the panel and involved in drafting the key recommendations," she said.
“I urge the Minister to find a suitable replacement for the current vacancy, and quickly."