Submission on: The independent review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

Woma Python. Credit Simon Gorta

We have focused our submission on providing recommendations relevant to the modernising the EPBC Act and its operation to address current and future environmental challenges as detailed in the Terms of reference for review and associated relevant matters.

Recommendation 1 - The main object of the Act should focus on the environment, linked to decision-making and environmental outcomes.

Recommendation 2 - The main object of the Act should be supported by secondary objectives including:

o the Precautionary Principle—if there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation;

o inter-generational equity—the present generation should ensure that the health, diversity and productivity of the environment is maintained or enhanced for the benefit of future generations.

o Conservation of biological diversity and ecological integrity
o recognition of the role of First Nations peoples in the custodianship of land and water

resources and their ongoing knowledge
o effective tracking and reporting of environmental change and
o improved and effective valuation and pricing of environmental resources.

Recommendation 3 - Establishment of clear assessment and implementation processes which ensure that the objects of the Act will achieve environmental outcomes which are monitored and reported.

 

Download the whole submission in PDF below.