Media release

Nature Positive Bills update, June 2024

Friday, 28 June 2024

  • Estimated reading time 2min

Sensible amendments must be adopted to fix Australia’s broken nature laws

CANBERRA, Australia: The Australian government is ploughing ahead with its underwhelming Nature Positive Bills by indicating that it will ignore the widely supported amendments moved in the House of Representatives this week. Australia’s leading bird conservation organisation, BirdLife Australia, says the bills will not halt Australia’s extinction crisis.

“The laws that are meant to protect threatened species in Australia are failing, with 1 in 6 Australian birds at risk of extinction,” said BirdLife Australia CEO, Kate Millar. “The Albanese Government has an opportunity now to start fixing these broken laws and protecting Australian birds and nature from destruction. Instead, they’re rejecting constructive amendments and pushing ahead with weak reforms that will not make any real difference.”

The bill to create Environment Information Australia (EIA), a federal agency to track the state of Australia’s environment, needs a more rigorous definition of what “nature positive” means, while the bill to establish a federal Environment Protection Agency (EPA) requires strengthening to ensure the EPA has political independence, says BirdLife Australia.

“These bills should not pass the Senate without substantial amendments, and we call on the Government to negotiate with the crossbench senators to ensure the EPA and EIA will be effective in protecting nature.” – Kate Millar CEO BirdLife Australia.

“As a science-based conservation organisation, BirdLife Australia welcomes the creation of the EIA to improve environmental data management, monitoring and evaluation. We must ensure high quality, reliable, accurate and accessible data is at the heart of environmental protection and decision making,” said Ms Millar.

Ms Millar said the EIA bill should be amended to ensure the definition of “nature positive” aligns with Australia’s commitment on the global stage to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030, to achieve a full recovery by 2050. “We are also concerned that the current proposal will not allow Australia to track the recovery of individual threatened species let alone understand whether their outlook is improving.”

A senate inquiry into the bills has been announced to report back by 8 August, providing an important opportunity for the community to contribute its views on the current reforms.

BirdLife Australia Media Enquiries: Please contact James Johnson on 0423 659 324 or at media@birdlife.org.au