Media Releases - 01 June 2022

Wilderness Society welcomes Tanya Plibersek into one of the 47th Parliament’s most important Ministries

The Wilderness Society welcomes the appointment of Tanya Plibersek as Minister for Environment and Water in the Albanese Government.

National Campaigns Director, Amelia Young says, “It’s been a long time since Australia has had an Environment Minister with the ambition, the intellect and the seniority required to do the job as it was intended—as a Minister for the Environment. And so we are immensely glad to see the role go to someone with all of those attributes in Tanya Plibersek.

“The environment is the only portfolio where with a stroke of a pen a minister can allow the erasure of lifeforms that have existed for tens of millions of years or allow them to flourish for millions more. There is no other portfolio that provides the opportunity for a million year legacy like this one.

“We expect that the Minister upon swearing in and receiving her departmental briefings will immediately release the State of the Environment Report that the previous Government hid from the public and that the Report will reinforce the level of reform that the Albanese Government needs to pursue.

“Climate and environment have been among the top issues, if not the top issues, for Australians for many years now. And while there was a focus on climate at this recent election, there is an equal and abiding concern about Australia’s natural environment in the constituencies who so strongly rewrote the electoral landscape.

“The Morrison Government's disdain for those who participated in the Samuel Review of the EPBC Act was a key issue that mobilised a wider community response that played out at the ballot box.

“The Environment portfolio needs a Minister with the experience and calibre of Tanya Plibersek and we are glad to see someone with deep policy reform experience. She is coming into the role after the Morrison Government left an environmental policy framework in deep disrepair and vastly underfunded. The EPBC Act hasn’t been reformed in ways that benefit the environment since it was established. The core task will be the response to the Samuel Review and establishing an independent EPA, all the while undoing the damage done to the administrative side of the Act such as the deliberate underfunding of recovery plans.

“There is a plurality of support for environmental reform in the 47th Parliament and it’s critical that the required legislation and necessary funding continues to be brought forward. The gap between community expectations and government performance on protecting and restoring Australia’s natural environment is huge. We look forward to working with the Minister in narrowing that gap,” Amelia Young concluded.

For further comment contact Tim Beshara on 0437 878786