Time to listen to the community and take transfer of environmental powers off the table
Humane Society International today called for the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to take the final step of taking the transfer of environmental powers to State and Territory Governments totally off the table.
At the meeting held today in Canberra, COAG agreed to continue to work to streamline environmental regulation, with a report due to be considered at the next COAG meeting. This follows discussions at yesterday’s COAG Business Advisory Forum.
“We are relieved that the avalanche of protesting voices from the scientific, legal, environment communities, some business groups and most importantly the general public have finally been heard to delay this process” said Alexia Wellbelove of Humane Society International. “The Prime Minister has heard loud and clear from the community that they will not put up with our most important environmental icons being put in the hands of State and Territory Governments”.
“It is now time for the Government to go one step further to first abandon these reforms and second ensure the provision in our environmental laws that enables this handover of powers is removed from the EPBC Act, and HSI will be working to ensure this happens” continued Ms Wellbelove
HSI is working as part of the Places You Love alliance of more than 35 organisations, calling on the Federal Government to abandon the proposed reforms. More than 10,000 people have now written to the Prime Minister to let her know they oppose the changes, and polling shows that 85% of Australians believe the Federal Government should be able to block or make changes to major projects that could damage the environment.