The meeting in nature that inspired my MP’s support

Monday, 13 March 2023

  • Estimated reading time 2 minutes

Meeting in nature with MP Kate Chaney: Urgent need for stronger laws to protect Australia’s environment

Dedicated bird advocate, Heidi Hardisty shares her story about inviting her local Federal MP, Kate Chaney, for a meeting in nature to build support for this year’s nature laws reforms.

Heidi (far left) and fellow environmental advocates meeting with their federal MP Kate Chaney (fourth from the left).

It was a pleasure to welcome Kate Chaney, the Federal Member of Parliament (MP) for Curtin, out in nature last month at Lake Claremont in Western Australia. Out in the fresh air, 8 of us met with Kate representing 5 local bushland groups and BirdLife Australia. We had a productive discussion about the urgent need for stronger laws to stop extinctions, repair nature and improve human health and well-being. Sadly, Australia’s national environmental legislation, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) is failing nature.

An independent review of the EPBC Act was released in 2021 by Prof. Graham Samuel and revealed that the Act is not fit for purpose. Encouragingly, the federal government has responded by committing to reform Australia’s environmental laws to better protect, restore and manage our unique environment.

Ensuring the community gets the best outcome

Kate Chaney recently met with Tanya Plibersek, the Federal Minister for the Environment, who indicated that the government will be working towards drafting amendments to the EPBC Act in the second half of this year. Their intention is to provide a thorough and lengthy avenue for public consultation.

Kate is keen to work together with her constituents to create a joint submission on the key reforms needed to improve the EPBC Act. We discussed the possibility of her holding a public forum and workshop later this year to raise awareness and bring together those interested in contributing. That would be wonderful!

Birdlife Australia, alongside many other peak environmental groups throughout the nation, have been working diligently to highlight the key reforms needed to improve environmental outcomes. These include:

  • the establishment of an independent Environmental Protection Agency;
  • legally enforceable national standards for the protection and restoration of nature;
  • a consistent approach to decision-making; and appropriate funding to implement the Act and the reforms.

If you haven’t already, sign our petition calling on our Federal representatives to legislate Strong Nature Laws in 2023.

And subscribe to our fortnightly Catch Up For Nature email list to keep up to date on Australia’s threatened birds and habitats, and how BirdLife and our supporters are giving them a voice.

BirdLife Australia’s nature laws campaign organiser, Tarquin Moon works with supporters like Heidi assisting them to be advocates and invite their local politicians on nature walks. It is a unique and memorable way for our leaders to be in nature and to hear from constituents about their concern for Australia’s birds. Do you have a special local place to invite your Federal member to for a Bird walk and to show the need for strong nature laws?