Nature laws that work

Nature laws that work

What use are laws that don’t protect the things Australians value most? We’re calling for a commonsense plan to fix our environment, backed by clearer laws and an independent watchdog with teeth.

The health of our environment affects us all. But our current laws fail to protect the things that make Australia a great place to live.

So we’ve begun our most ambitious project ever. A campaign to replace Australia’s toothless environmental rules with a consistent, commonsense plan.

The threat to life

You don’t have to be a raging greenie to see the challenges we face. By every major indicator of environmental health, the living world that gives us clean air and water, builds our soil, pollinates our crops and keeps our climate safe is in decline.

Our mountains are mined, our oceans are overfished, our rivers are drained, dammed and degraded. 50% of our forests are gone. 

We’re losing the life that makes our lives possible.

What’s gone wrong and how do we fix it?

Unless they’re actively enforced, Australia’s environmental laws aren’t worth the parchment they’re written on. Right now, the lines of responsibility between Federal and State are blurred. We have short-term parliaments forever flip-flopping on policy. The simplest and fairest solution is a new suite of nationally consistent laws — and an expert independent body with the teeth to enforce them.

We have the will. What we need is the way.

Australians love nature — it’s part of who we are. But under the current system, even the best of intentions will fall short. 

  • In Queensland, for every tree planted under the Federal Government’s $70m scheme, 12 are destroyed by unnecessary deforestation. 
  • In 2009, the Christmas Island pipistrelle went extinct while officials debated the best way to spend the funding set aside to save it. 
  • Commitments to protect the Great Barrier Reef from coral bleaching still aren’t backed by a robust emissions reduction plan.

Our vision

It’s important to protect nature. But the right laws can go one step further — they can work to enhance the things Australians value most. 

That means a real future for the native critters we care about, cleaner air, more resilient soils, healthy oceans, and a climate we can rely on. By clarifying the roles and responsibilities of Federal and State governments, we’ll have firm but fair rules that work for all Australians — not just the ones who can afford lobbyists. 

Adding expert independent oversight isn’t just good for people and nature. Industry is crying out for consistency, too. It’s easier to invest in the future when the laws aren’t constantly shifting beneath your feet. If we’re going to tackle our climate crisis and reduce our national emissions, we need common goals that take in the whole picture. 

Consistent rules are fair rules.

What we're doing:

  • Laying the groundwork for successful legislative reform. 
  • Meeting with politicians of all stripes to build bipartisan support. 
  • Using community organising to build a movement for change. 
  • Showing everyday Australians why new laws are necessary. 
  • Engaging with industry, unions and other stakeholders