Media Releases - 29 May 2024

Extinction inquiry recommends urgent government action

Last week the Senate committee tasked with undertaking an inquiry into Australia’s extinction crisis released its interim report.

In the report, the committee recommends that the Australian government “urgently and unequivocally” commit to publicly releasing the exposure draft of the full package of national environment law reforms, and commit to a timeframe for the introduction of the full package of reforms to Parliament.

The Wilderness Society, which gave evidence to the committee during hearings conducted earlier this year, says the recommendations are aligned with the public’s expectations of the government—which was elected on the promise of environment and climate action.

Australia is in a biodiversity crisis on par with the climate crisis. Species and habitats are declining at an alarming rate due to the failure of successive governments to prioritise nature protection and restoration. An urgent and effective response from the Albanese government, commensurate with the scale of this catastrophe, is well past due.

Sam Szoke-Burke, Biodiversity Policy and Campaigns Manager for the Wilderness Society, said, "The urgency with which nature needs the government to enact laws that actually protect nature cannot be understated. The Albanese government has promised no new extinctions, and it has committed to an end to deforestation by 2030—but so far we have not seen the action or ambition needed to grapple with the scale of the mounting biodiversity crisis. The recommendations of this report reinforce that the time for strong new laws that protect native species and their habitats is right now."