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Greens Call for Stronger Environmental Laws

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Saturday, 18 April 2020

Tags: Environment, Threatened Species, Forests, Climate Change

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson

The federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 oversees our wild places and threatened species, and is under its ten year review.

The Greens’ submission to the EPBC Act review calls for:

• The removal of exemptions (such as for forestry)

• Assessment of proposals to include significant climate impacts

• Avenues for governments, planning authorities and the general public to initiate referrals to be included; and

• Assessment of proposals to be done by an independent body.


When the planet is warming at the alarming rate it is, our environmental laws must consider the climate change impacts of any proposal. It’s essential, and, frankly it’s a no-brainer.

Due in large part to rampant land clearing and forestry, Australia occupies a shameful position near the top of world rankings on threatened species.

Worldwide, we have the fourth highest number of extinct species (42) and the seventh highest number of threatened species (1,295). Our combined total of threatened and near-threatened species (10,166) is the third highest after the United States and Indonesia.

While native forest logging and its devastating impact on threatened species avoids EPBC assessment, we will continue to climb that ladder of disgrace. In Tasmania, we’re talking about iconic species like swift parrots, wedge-tailed eagles, Tasmanian devils, masked owls, and so many more.

The only way to protect what we love about our island’s unique and abundant nature is to have a science-driven and independent assessment process. If assessments are not done at arms-length from Ministers, there’s no way to keep the politics out of it.

We are in a climate and nature emergency, and it is critical to do everything we can to protect, and improve, the natural world that sustains us.

The Greens’ submission makes the case for strong and independent environmental laws, and supports proper oversight and stronger protections.  


* Submission to the EPBC Act Review: