Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:
The independent review of Australia's main environment law, released last week, provided a sobering but accurate appraisal of a dire situation.
The review was led by Professor Graeme Samuel and involved consultation with scientists, legal experts, industry and conservation organizations. Samuel's report concluded Australia's biodiversity is in decline and the law (the EPBC Act) "is not fit for current or future environmental challenges".
[...] To reverse Australia's appalling track record of protecting biodiversity, four major reforms recommended by Samuel must be implemented as a package.
- Setting standards [...]
- Greater government accountability [...]
- Decent funding [...]
- Increase ecological knowledge [...]
[...] Samuel recommends Regional Recovery Plans be adequately funded to help develop some knowledge. But we suggest substantial new environmental capacity is needed, including new ecological research positions, increased environmental monitoring infrastructure, and appropriate funding of recovery plans, to ensure enough knowledge supports decision making.
Samuel's report has provided a path forward that could make a substantial difference to Australia's shocking track record of biodiversity conservation and land stewardship.
But Environment Minister Sussan Ley's response so far suggests the Morrison government plans to cherry pick from Samuel's recommendations, and rush through changes without appropriate safeguards.
If the changes we outlined above aren't implemented as a package, our precious natural heritage will continue to decline.