One stop shop breaches international treaty obligations
Australia’s drive to accredit state and territory processes as part of the ‘one stop shop’ process will be in breach of our international obligations, Humane Society International (HSI) has said today.
Following significant concerns, HSI has sought legal advice from Environmental Defender’s Office NSW and this week wrote to the Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention* which protects wetlands of international importance (65 sites in Australia), and to the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Migratory Species*, which helps to conserve migratory wild animals (109 Australian species). The letters set out HSI’s concerns that the current process will result in Australia’s failure to adequately protect wetlands of international importance and internationally protected migratory species. HSI is hoping that these letters result in these international conventions seeking further information from the Australian Government as to how they will effectively meet their international obligations.
“The advice is clear, state and territory governments have little to no reference to protecting wetlands and migratory species in their legislation, and yet the Federal Government is currently accrediting this very legislation as part of their ‘one stop shop’ process whereby state and territory governments will be assessing and making approval decisions on the environmental impacts on these matters,” said HSI’s Michael Kennedy.
“Legal analysis demonstrates that currently no state or territory major project assessment process meets the standards necessary for accreditation by the Federal Government. We believe that the ‘one stop shop’ process will reduce environmental standards and cause irreparable harm to our most important environmental assets,” continued Mr Kennedy.
“It is time that Australia was held internationally accountable before it sets any further down this path of environmental destruction,” concluded Mr Kennedy.