Humane Society International experts are available for comment on two critical reports due within the next week focussed on Australia’s federal environmental legislation, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) which is under statutory review.

On Thursday 25th June the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) Referrals, Assessments and Approvals of Controlled Actions under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, is expected to be tabled in Parliament. The objective of this audit was to assess the effectiveness of the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s administration of environmental impact assessment processes under the EPBC Act recently put under a spotlight by the Prime Minister.

The interim report of the independent review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) is expected early next week. The review is being undertaken by Professor Graeme Samuel and the publication of the interim report marks an important milestone in the statutory review of the EPBC Act, now 20 years old.

Humane Society International is available for comment on both the audit report and the interim report. We hope that both reports will highlight the need for stronger laws to address the extinction crisis facing Australia’s wildlife and their habitats. Among improvements HSI is calling for to ensure improved environmental outcomes are stronger protective measures, enhanced national leadership, independent science-based decision making and meaningful community participation. This will require significant additional investment to address the extinction crisis we currently face.

Nicola Beynon is HSI Australia’s Head of Campaigns and was one of a small team of conservationists who helped negotiate passage of the EPBC Act through Parliament in 1999 and has worked closely with the legislation ever since.

Alexia Wellbelove is HSI Australia’s Senior Campaign Manager who has worked closely with the legislation since 2009 and was responsible for establishing the Places You Love alliance in 2012 following threats posed by the devolution of approval powers to states and territories under the Act.

Both Nicola and Alexia have managed several court cases HSI has brought to compel federal environment ministers and a Japanese whaling company to comply with the EPBC Act, as well as having been responsible for nominating numerous threatened species for listing under the Act and been members of their recovery teams.

Yulin dog meat festival went ahead, defying Chinese declaration that dogs are pets not food EPBC Act experts available for comment on upcoming report