8 December 2022
Zali Steggall MP today welcomed the Government’s response to the Samuel Review into the operation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act but states more, and urgent, action is required.
Steggall said, “While well intentioned, the response fails to adequately link the impacts of future mining and development on natural habitats and the cumulative impacts these activities will have on global warming and ultimately, even greater loss of natural habitat.
“It’s unacceptable that there is no commitment from the government to immediately stop native forest logging and urgently protect what biodiversity we have left, as well as our natural carbon sinks.
Government can put a range of measures in place, but if it fails to place climate triggers on further developments, we will still be on a trajectory for a catastrophic biodiversity collapse. We need to ensure that the carbon emissions impact for new developments is a core assessment for any new application approvals.”
Since the release of the Samuel Review in 2020, Steggall has been calling for urgent government action to increase the protections of Australia’s biodiversity.
“I’m pleased to see the Government’s proposed introduction of national standards and an independent authority to enforce compliance – however I am concerned about the time it will take to activate these initiatives,” she said.
Steggall said the Environment Minister has made an ambitious commitment to no new extinctions but felt the timetable for development and introduction of legislation does not reflect the urgency of the situation.
“At this rate we won’t have any improvements in place until early 2024 at the earliest. The State of the Environment Report recently highlighted the alarming decline in our natural environment and biodiversity loss, so we need action now.”
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