The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) welcomes Queensland Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon’s statement calling for the strengthening of national environment standards.
Last night, during an online forum hosted by the Queensland Conservation Council, the Minister also called on the Federal Government to respond to the 38 recommendations identified by Professor Graeme Samuel in his statutory review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity (EPBC) Act.
Proposed Federal Government reforms to the EPBC Act are currently before the Senate.
As part of the reforms, the Federal Government has proposed a set of weak National Environmental Standards that simply reflect the already documented failings of the current legislation that experts have assessed as incapable of halting the extinction and biodiversity crisis currently facing Australian wildlife. These weak standards proposed by the Federal Government are out of step with those proposed in the Samuel Review and will not reverse the decline of our threatened species.
Professor Samuel’s findings were clear, the EPBC Act is failing to protect our wildlife and our iconic landscapes and seascapes such as the Great Barrier Reef.
“The Queensland Government is responsible for some of Australia’s most unique and iconic ocean wildlife and places,” said AMCS campaign manager Tooni Mahto.
“Minister Scanlon’s statements on the need for stronger environment standards are welcomed, as these laws are essential for the protection of the Great Barrier Reef itself, the coastal habitats of the Gulf of Carpentaria, and the iconic marine wildlife that inhabit Queensland’s waters.
“Leadership on creating a modern, fit for purpose environment law has been lacking from the Federal Government, and we’re pleased to see the Queensland Government acknowledging the responsibility it has for the protection of the environment.
“We would urge other states and territories around Australia to follow Queensland’s example and reject the weak standards the Federal government is trying to force through.”