Damaging environment laws rammed through Parliament

3 September 2020  

Tonight, the Government abused the process of parliament and rammed through laws that will negatively impact environmental protection and biodiversity conservation in Australia. In a year where fires decimated communities, people lost their homes, livelihoods and lifelong possessions, where huge swathes of our fragile nature went up in flames and billions of animals died, this is a shameful act. 

Debate was completely censored on this important legislation.  

We are all here to debate and try and improve the laws where we can. This legislation did not reflect Samuel review recommendations, so I sought to make positive changes through amendments that I circulated well in advance.   

The amendments that I was proposing were to stop water resources being mismanaged and contaminated by coal mining and coal seam gas developers. They were also implementing the recommended National Environmental Standards which would be strong safeguards for the environment.  

More shocking was the conduct of Coalition members in the Chamber. I would be surprised if this is how people expect to be represented, especially the people of Mackellar, North Sydney and Wentworth where I know they care about the environment. Their members were there, laughing.  

This legislation will accelerate environmental decline and Coalition MPs don’t care.