You’d be forgiven for thinking that the very existence of national environmental laws creates an obligation on Environment Ministers to protect the environment. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Instead, their obligations are limited by the objects and duties that are specified in the law. And in the case of our...
HSI today welcomed the renewal of the national Environment Ministers Meetings and the opportunity it presents to ensure stronger protections for nature across the country.
In response the Agreed Communique from the meeting, Dr Megan Kessler, nature campaigner for HSI said:
“We welcome the commitment of all environment ministers nationally to work collectively to achieve a national target to protect and conserve 30% of Australia’s landmass and 30% of Australia’s marine areas by 2030, and the recognition that Australia needs stronger and more effective environmental regulation to better protect nationally significant animals, plants, habitats and places including waterways and marine environments, including strong new national environment standards.
“We have previously welcomed the Albanese Government’s commitment to no new extinctions. However, our current extinction crisis demands that state and territory governments do more than ‘accelerate national efforts to prevent new extinctions’ because we are starting from a low base where nature routinely comes last. We look forward to all governments committing to strong and immediate action and resourcing to halt the extinction crisis and implement standards that will stop the destruction of nature.
“In this regard, regional planning can be a powerful tool to protect biodiversity providing it puts nature and the community first and has conservation at its heart. Conservationists are sceptical of regional planning that is more about avoiding environmental scrutiny over developments. Better data will provide an important foundation for nature recovery.
“HSI also supports private investment in nature conservation but it is important that this not in lieu of proper and reliable government funding. Government funding historically and currently is wholly inadequate.”