Media Releases - 08 June 2021

Senate Bill Report shows Enviro Bill is a dog's breakfast

The Wilderness Society provides the following response to the release of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Standards and Assurance) Bill Inquiry Report.

The Wilderness Society welcomes the dissenting reports put forth by Labor, the Greens and independent Senator Rex Patrick, calling on the Federal Government to release a public response to the 38 recommendations of the Samuel Review and ensure strong, robust and effective protections for Australia’s threatened wildlife and iconic natural heritage.

Suzanne Milthorpe, the Wilderness Society’s National Environment Laws Campaign Manager says, “This report reflects what a dog’s breakfast the Government’s response to the Independent Samuel Review of our national environment laws has been. The Review provided a clear, credible and shovel-ready roadmap to begin turning around Australia’s extinction crisis and rebuild community faith in our environment protections.

“Instead the Morrison Government has failed at every step to respond to the serious warning sounded by the Samuel Review. The Review showed the direction the Government needed to go and yet the Government has continued to drive the other way.

“Government Senators, in their report on the Bill, acknowledged a range of defects with this Bill. The Scrutiny of Bills Committee also called out significant inadequacies about this Bill in March, especially how it puts the Government’s proposed environment standards beyond the proper scrutiny of Parliament. Today’s report acknowledges those issues still haven’t been fully addressed.

“The Government has broken faith with the thirty-thousand scientists, law experts and community members who are calling for the Government to act and reform our national nature laws to end Australia’s extinction crisis.

“Twenty years of environmental decline makes it clear that strong and effective national environment standards and an independent watchdog are sorely needed. The Federal Government needs to commit to a widespread package of reforms to our failed national environment law that raise the standard of protection for our wildlife and globally iconic natural places.

“Otherwise, the Government is effectively choosing to accept the continued decline of our iconic places and the extinction of our most threatened plants, animals and ecosystems,” Ms Milthorpe said.

For further comment contact Suzanne Milthorpe on 04085 82396