Crossbench request EPBC reforms to be completed this parliamentary term

16 April 2024

Members of the crossbench have today sent the following open letter to Minister Plibersek requesting major environmental reforms are introduced as a full package before the end of this parliamentary term. 


(or read below)
The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP
Minister for the Environment and Water
Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

Re: Completing major environmental reforms during this parliamentary term

Dear Minister Plibersek,

Thank you for your engagement to date with the crossbench on the environmental and Nature Positive reforms the Government is currently undertaking, particularly around the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.

We, the undersigned, urge you to publicly re-commit to legislating a complete package of these reforms during this parliamentary term, aligning with the Government’s commitments and community expectations.

It is deeply concerning to see media reports today stating your apparent intention to delay and split the package of reforms.

Delaying and splitting these reforms breaks an explicit promise to the electorate and undermines the Albanese Government’s commitment to addressing the climate and biodiversity crises. At a time when Australia is already experiencing more climate impacts, our communities cannot afford any further delays to protect our environment whilst legislation prioritising fossil fuel projects is allowed greater priority.

Four years on since the Samuel Review made its recommendations, this comprehensive package of environmental reforms is finally on the agenda, supported by input from experts and environmental groups. The government is well-positioned to deliver an effective package to the parliament soon. There is too much at stake for both our environment and the climate for any further delay.

There is still more than a year before the next Federal Election is due. Stakeholders, experts and communities have worked too hard in good faith, for too long, to see the Albanese Government put aside these reforms now. Introducing the full package of bills promptly will enable open, public debate on these crucial reforms, shaping our climate and environmental legacy for decades.

We look forward to hearing from you on this urgent matter imminently.

Yours sincerely,
Zali Steggall OAM MP, Independent Member for Warringah

Kate Chaney MP, Independent Member for Curtin
Zoe Daniel MP, Independent Member for Goldstein
Helen Haines MP, Independent Member for Indi
Senator David Pocock, Independent for the Australian Capital Territory
Dr Monique Ryan MP, Independent Member for Kooyong
Dr Sophie Scamps MP, Independent Member for Mackellar
Allegra Spender MP, Independent Member for Wentworth

Kylea Tink MP, Independent Member for North Sydney
Andrew Wilkie MP, Independent Member for Clark