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8 July 2013 - Coalition policy risks disastrous outcomes for our wildlife      

Coalition policy risks disastrous outcomes for our wildlife

8 July 2013

The launch today of the Coalition’s policy to ‘Boost Productivity and Reduce Regulation’ and particularly its commitment to a ‘one-stop-shop’ approach should be seen as a warning sign for our environment, said Humane Society International (HSI).

HSI has repeatedly told both the Government and the Coalition that State and Territory legislation is not up to the job of being accredited to deliver on the Commonwealth’s environmental approval functions, as set out in federal environmental legislation. In addition, no evidence has been provided that our federal environmental laws are in fact the source of the delays as purported by big business.

“The community has repeatedly made it clear that it has no confidence in State and Territory Governments being able to deliver environmental outcomes of the same or higher standard than that delivered at the federal level,” said HSI’s Alexia Wellbelove. “Despite this, the Coalition continues to push ahead with its plans for a one-stop-shop stating that high environmental standards will be maintained, with absolutely no proof of being able to deliver on this statement.

“Meanwhile, industry continues to maintain that federal environmental laws are causing delay, despite being unable to provide any evidence, and a FactCheck published by The Conversation that further casts the very basis for these proposals into doubt.”

“Our environment laws are there to protect our most threatened places and wildlife. With much of our wildlife in decline, our laws need to be strengthened for their benefit and not simply handed over to States to implement them when State Governments are simply not up to the job. These current plans, if implemented as proposed, can only have disastrous outcomes for our most precious places and wildlife,” concluded Ms Wellbelove.

HSI is calling on the Coalition to commit to a number of actions before implementing their policy, including consultation with all stakeholders; undertaking an assessment of the impact of handing over environmental powers on listed species, communities and other listed matters; and the collection of robust evidence from industry of the need for approval bilateral arrangements.

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