Scorecard: How is Australia Tracking on Nature Laws?

Australia’s current nature laws are weak, outdated and failing.

The Australian Government has finally announced phased steps to update the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) – for the first time in 20 years.

There’s a serious risk that the Government will fail to deliver the full reform package before the next election, leaving the reforms incomplete and crucial environmental issues unaddressed. The urgency is palpable, especially for species like the Red Handfish, Giant Kelp, and the Maugean skate.

We’ve created a handy scorecard to track the government’s progress on the reforms nature needs. Check it out below and we’ll keep you updated on their progress.

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Check out the infographics below to see how the EPBC Act has failed to protect some of our most incredible and vulnerable species:

Maugean Skate

The Maugean skate is staring down the barrel of extinction, largely due to the failures of the EPBC Act. They are found only in Australian waters, with less than 1,000 estimated to be remaining in the wild. Salmon farming has decimated their habitat, poor water quality is suffocating them, and time is running out.

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Red Handfish

The Red Handfish is one of the rarest and most endangered fish in the world, found in just two small areas near Hobart. With a tiny population of 100 or so left in the wild, it’s crucial we protect this Critically Endangered fish (from pressures such as habitat degradation, pollution, coastal developments and climate impacts).

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Giant Kelp

The Giant Kelp Marine Forests of South East Australia are a vital component of our marine ecosystem, providing critical habitats for many species and supporting the health of our oceans. Giant Kelp forests are facing unprecedented threats, and urgent action is needed to protect these vital ecosystems. 

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Featured image credit: Jane Rucker/IMAS