When the Humane Society International (HSI) was involved in the original negotiations for the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 in the late 1990s, it promised a new era of environmental protection. The Federal Government had recognised its obligation to protect our environment at a national level and introduced...
Humane Society International Australia wholeheartedly congratulates The Hon Tanya Plibersek on her appointment as Minister for Environment and Water, and Senator Murray Watt on his appointment as Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and the Minister for Emergency Management, in the Albanese Government. On election night Prime Minister Albanese said he wanted his government to bring about a kinder Australia, and HSI is looking forward to working with the Albanese Government to bring about an Australia that is also kinder to animals.
Australia’s wildlife face an extinction crisis which must be turned around with stronger environment laws that prioritise protecting nature. Compliance and oversight from the independent Environment Protection Agency Labor has committed to will be a crucial reform, as will be strong legally binding National Environmental Standards to put a stop to poor decision making. We are optimistic that this will mark a critical turning point in environmental protection and HSI offers our expertise to the Minister as she embarks on these critical reforms.
HSI is also looking forward to reforms that tighten loopholes allowing wildlife trade, and in particular to see Australia joining the global effort to prohibit our domestic ivory trade.
Animal welfare in Australia has been let down by a lack of federal coordination and an abject failure to keep pace with science and community values. The new government has promised the reinstatement of an Australian Animal Welfare Strategy and an Inspector General for Animal Welfare.
HSI is hoping these institutions will mark a distinct shift towards restoring Australia’s reputation and performance in this policy area, as well as offering transparency, consistency, and accountability in standards-setting and governance for animals, based on animal welfare science and community expectations.
We look forward to the Albanese Government holding firm on their commitment to a planned phase-out of live sheep exports. We hope that under Senator Watt’s leadership we will see a closer alignment between community values and animal welfare outcomes.
We at Humane Society International stand ready to assist Ministers Tanya Plibersek and Murray Watt in the critical reforms they have committed to for the governance of nature and animal welfare.