Dear Senators, Federal MP,
I am extremely concerned that the Morrison Government is continuing to push through amendments to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) to handover national decision-making responsibilities to states and territories with no commitment to the national standards Professor Samuel has recommended. Professor Samuel's recommendations are balanced following a year of consultation with scientists, environment and business groups, and the community. I am alarmed the Government is proposing a weaker set of standards.
The streamlining bill will put Australia’s wildlife and habitats in further peril. I think devolving environmental approvals to the states and territories is taking a reckless gamble with our environment.
If the Government persists with devolving approvals for Matters of National Environmental Significance, it must implement the full recommendations of the independent review, including Professor Samuel's suite of National Environmental Standards, an independent statutory Environment Assurance Commissioner with teeth, and an independent Office of Compliance and Enforcement.
Now is not the time to weaken environmental regulations and pass laws that will have detrimental impacts on nature, but instead to ensure that our environment is put at the centre of our thinking and laws strengthened and enforced.
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