Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Streamlining Environmental Approvals) Bill 2020
The Bill amends the EPBC Act to ’facilitate the legally robust devolution of environmental approvals to the States and Territories.’
And even more information can be found here
This Bill was rushed through and agreed to by the House of Representatives on 3rd September 2020. Next it has to be introduced to and passed by the Senate. The Senate next meets on 6th October.
It should be stopped and rejected by the Senate – but this will need cross bench and independent Senators awareness and action. WA Liberals could also intervene.
What can we do?
We can provide a voice for biodiversity conservation in WA and nationally if each of us visits in person our WA Senators electoral offices and states our objections. It is best to walk in without notice. Policy officers and staff are there for us during office hours and they brief their Senators. It is important to talk with Liberal Senators and their staff too.
See the list of WA Senators below.
Some points to make:
- Currently the 10 year independent review of the EPBC Act by Professor Graeme Samuel is taking place, and his final report has not yet been presented to the Government. His Interim Report described the major failures and shortcomings of the EPBC Act. Enforcement of the EPBC Act is already inadequate. Its strengthening and improved enforcement are needed in the national interest. It is therefore essential that no changes and weakening of the EPBC Act takes place before the final report and recommendations of the EPBC Act Review is presented and considered.
- The title of the Bill with the words ‘Streamlining Environmental Approvals’ included is contrary to the purpose of the Act which is for environmental protection and biodiversity conservation. Streamlining environmental approvals means fast tracking approvals and ignoring impacts which destroy biodiversity. It will legalise destruction of the environment.
- Here in south west WA is a biodiversity hotspot of global and national significance which deserves much increased national protection by our national government, not less. It is a biodiversity hotspot because actions like those proposed in the Bill have been ongoing since the end of World War 2 and this has resulted in the loss and extinction of much of the unique vegetation in the south-west and agricultural regions of Western Australia. The Federal Government must strengthen the management of our biodiversity the sound regulation and guidelines to meet its international commitments to the Convention on Biological Diversity as the Staes to which it proposes to pass this responsibility under the Bill have not shown any capacity to do so.
- The WA State environmental protection laws are weak and inadequate. Our biodiverse flora and fauna and vegetation communities are suffering the classic death of a thousand cuts from patch by patch clearing and threatening processes. This is despite most of our south west being TECs and habitat of endangered species. The WA Government is not properly protecting and managing our biodiversity and has shown no inclination to do so in its pursuit of “jobs and growth” in all the guises in which that mantra takes..
- We love our unique biodiversity here in WA and want clearing and its loss stopped. Describe some of your favourites eg our Banksia Woodlands TEC, Tuart Woodlands CE TEC, endangered Carnaby’s Cockatoo, orchids, Wheatbelt Eucalypt Woodlands, Threatened flora.
- Developers and infrastructure agencies should be required by law to confine their developments to suitable lands already cleared and demonstrate the need for infrastructure upgrades with supporting evidence of need and the likely success rate of their proposals. Give your local examples.
- Senator Sue Lines (Labor) 51 Ord St West Perth 6005. Tel. 9481 4844
- Senator Dean Smith (Liberal) 48 Ventnor Ave West Perth. Tel. 9481 0349
- Senator Slade Brockman (Liberal) Units 4 & 5 1 Harper Terrace South Perth. Tel. 6245 3305
- Senator Jordan Steele-John (Greens) 140 William St Perth. Tel. 6245 3310
- Senator Mathias Corman (Liberal) Exchange Plaza, 38/2 The Esplanade Perth. Tel. 9325 4227
- Senator Rachel Siewert (Greens) Unit 11, Level 2, 440 William St Perth. Tel. 9228 3277
- Senator Michaela Cash (Liberal) 44 Outram St West Perth 6005. Tel. 9226 2000.
- Senator Louise Pratt (Labor) 183 Great Eastern Highway Belmont. Tel. 9277 1502
- Senator Glen Sterle (Labor) Units G2 & G3, 150-152 Riseley St Booragoon. Tel. 9455 1420