The Moreton Bay Foundation recently made a submission to the review of the Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, the most important piece of environmental legislation in Australia.
The submission indicated:
- A concern for apparent aspiration in the discussion paper to ease restrictions on development using either a biodiversity offset market or environmental trust fund, risking loss of irreplaceable habitats.
- Consideration of development applications in isolation, and a lack of a framework to assess incremental (shifting baselines) and cumulative impact.
TMBF suggested improvements included:
- A stronger focus of biodiversity conservation and environmental protection
- An Independent assessment body, adequately resourced and underpinned by scientific evidence
- Inclusion of climate as Matter for National Environmental Significance
- Inclusion of the ability to deal with cumulative impact
- Stronger application of the precautionary principle, in light of climate risk and uncertainty and lack of information and adequate monitoring of species, particularly in the marine environment
- A stronger requirement to act on State of Environment reporting
You can view TMBF’s full EPBC Act submission here.