Media release

Urgency to deliver real protection from nature law reform

Wednesday, 29 May 2024

  • Estimated reading time 2min

Urgency is needed to deliver real protection from federal nature law reform

NATIONAL, Australia: Without further reforms, bills to amend federal nature laws introduced to Parliament today will not halt the extinction crisis, according to BirdLife Australia. BirdLife Australia is calling on the Albanese Government to table a complete package of nature law reforms this year, including national environmental standards, to fulfil its commitment to end extinctions.

BirdLife Australia is also calling for a range of amendments to the bills establishing an Environment Information Australia office and federal Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure their effectiveness.

“As a science-based conservation organisation, BirdLife Australia welcomes the creation of EIA, an agency that will improve environmental data management, monitoring and evaluation. We must ensure high quality, reliable and accurate data is at the heart of environmental protections and decision making,” said BirdLife Australia CEO, Kate Millar.

“But we are concerned the current proposal will not deliver a rigorous framework to allow us to track the recovery of threatened species and understand whether nature is improving.”

Ms Millar said the bill should be amended to ensure the definition of “nature positive” aligns with global goals to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030, to achieve a full recovery by 2050.

“The Australian Government needs to introduce strong environmental standards now to ensure that the data this new agency will manage and report on is fit for purpose, reliable and accurate.”

BirdLife Australia also has significant concerns about the proposed EPA, which lacks the direct oversight and accountability required to avoid poor decision-making.

“Again, without strong environmental standards and upfront protections for nature, the proposed EPA will not deliver on the Albanese Government’s promise to halt extinctions. Australia’s broken nature laws must be fixed, and then properly enforced.” – Kate Millar CEO BirdLife Australia

“The Government released information about consultation for further reforms last night without providing any timeframes for implementation.

“With Opposition Leader Peter Dutton last week proposing an alternative plan that would weaken environment protections, we want to see the Albanese Government commit to the full package of reforms being introduced this year.

“1 in 6 Australian birds is facing the threat of extinction,” said Ms Millar. “Now is the time to fix the broken nature laws contributing to our current extinction crisis.”

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