News - 08 August 2018

Faunal Extinction Crisis Inquiry: Submission information for experts


  • The Senate has launched an inquiry into Australia's faunal extinction crisis, with an emphasis on the role of the Commonwealth Government in regulating, conserving and protecting Australia’s threatened faunal species.
  • Terms of reference for the inquiry and details on how to submit can be found here.
  • Timelines:
    • Submissions due date: 10 September
    • Inquiry report by 4 December 2018

Key Issues

  • Australia’s environment laws, especially the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC), are simply not up to the task of preventing the decline and extinction of Australia’s threatened species.
  • There is little evidence that the state or trend of most threatened species is improving and that there is no indication that the major pressures impacting threatened species, including habitat fragmentation and loss, have decreased.
  • The State of the Environment 2016 Report found that “(a)n overarching national policy that establishes a clear vision for the protection and sustainable management of Australia’s environment to the year 2050 is lacking” and that national leadership and collaboration is required to address threats to species and biodiversity.

Our Asks

The Wilderness Society asks that:

  • The Australian Government leads the country to achieve an end to faunal extinction.
  • The Australian Government institutes a complete overhaul of the national environment laws and the creation of strong and independent national institutions to ensure the laws are implemented and environmental outcomes are significantly improved.
  • The Australian Government develops a five-yearly National Environment Plan that sets out common goals and objectives for state and federal governments, and aligns Australia’s species conservation efforts with our international obligations, including Aichi Target 12.
  • Australia’s environment laws ensure permanent and world-leading protection of faunal habitat by ending land clearing and logging of old growth and high conservation value native vegetation, including disallowing the burning of native forests as a claimed form of renewable energy.
  • There's a legislated requirement to develop science-based recovery plans for all threatened species that are enforceable, binding and require climate impact assessment for species and its critical habitat.
  • There's a commitment to prompt, transparent and regular (minimum annual) release of data on the state and trends of threatened species, state and impacts on critical habitat of threatened species and outcome-focused monitoring of species conservation efforts and spending.