Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Doubts on the independence of the reiew of Australia’s national environmental laws

Frustration grows over delayed release of review into Australia’s environmental laws
‘Questions naturally arise’ about review’s independence, environmental group says,
Guardian,   Lisa Cox   17 Jul 20, Environment groups are increasingly anxious and frustrated as they wait for the release of an interim report from a review of Australia’s national environmental laws.

The review’s chair, the former competition watchdog head Graeme Samuel, handed his report to the environment minister, Sussan Ley, almost three weeks ago.

It had been due for release shortly after that but the government pushed back its publication, which is now expected sometime next week.

“When the review was announced, Minister Ley was very clear that this was meant to be an independent report. But when the report is delayed by government, questions naturally arise about how independent that process is,” said Suzanne Milthorpe, the national environmental law campaign manager at the Wilderness Society.

“If they are serious about this, they should release it so that all Australians can see and engage with the findings of this report.”

The review of Australia’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act is a once-in-a-decade statutory requirement. It has the potential to shape policy for the next 10 years in an area that is highly politicised.

The interim report and its recommendations will inform the next period of public consultation before Samuel delivers a final report in October.

In submissions to the review, environmental and industry groups have put forward proposals that involve the development of national environmental standards.

They agree Australia’s environment is in decline, but they hold different views on what a set of national standards might look like.

Industry continues to advocate for reductions in environmental regulation, while conservationists have called for stronger protection and an independent national environmental authority.

Just this week, Australia’s oil and gas lobby, APPEA, called for regulatory reform, and in particular the cutting of so-called environmental “green tape”, to support economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. …..

James Trezise of the Australian Conservation Foundation said a recent national audit office report that examined the assessment and approval of projects under the act had identified serious failures in governance.

That included findings that the government had been ineffective in managing risks to the environment and had failed to ensure developers were meeting the environmental conditions of their project approvals.

Trezise said reforms were needed to ensure Australia’s laws were better focused on delivering outcomes for the environment and that one way of achieving that was “through setting clear national standards” for environmental protection…….

James Trezise of the Australian Conservation Foundation said a recent national audit office report that examined the assessment and approval of projects under the act had identified serious failures in governance.

That included findings that the government had been ineffective in managing risks to the environment and had failed to ensure developers were meeting the environmental conditions of their project approvals.

Trezise said reforms were needed to ensure Australia’s laws were better focused on delivering outcomes for the environment and that one way of achieving that was “through setting clear national standards” for environmental protection……… https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jul/17/frustration-grows-over-delayed-release-of-review-into-australias-environmental-laws

July 18, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, politics

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