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Fragmented nature laws a 'major disappointment': Conservation Councils

Conservation Councils from around the country have today expressed their dismay at the fragmentation of long-awaited nature laws and are urging Minister Plibersek to follow through on her promise to deliver the whole of the Nature Positive Plan in this term of government.

In December 2022, Minister Plibersek announced that the Albanese Government recognised that our environment laws are broken and promised to deliver ‘fundamental reform’ that ‘turns the tide from nature destruction to nature repair.’

“Australia’s environment laws are broken, and nature across Australia is in serious trouble. In the past week we learned that ¾ of the Great Barrier Reef has been bleached in the latest marine heatwave, and the South West forests of WA are suffering the worst forest collapse ever recorded”, said Jess Beckerling, CEO of the Conservation Council of WA.

“Climate change and land-clearing are having compounding and catastrophic impacts on biodiversity hotspots, but our environment laws are waving through projects that are making it worse”, said Jono La Nauze, CEO of Environment Victoria.

“The Nature Positive Plan promised to create upfront protections – places that would be off limits to clearing and industrial development; standards that projects would have to meet; regional planning to look holistically at where developments can occur; and a robust federal EPA to make and enforce environmental decisions”, said Jacqui Mumford, CEO of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.

“There has been pushback from self-interested and well-resourced mining and gas magnates, and the Albanese government has capitulated to this pressure, rather than standing up for the interests of the broader community and future generations”, said Kirsty Howey, Executive Director of Environment Centre NT.

“Today, Minister Plibersek has announced the delaying of key parts of the long-awaited ‘fundamental reform’. In its place, we can expect the creation of a Federal EPA without all the tools it needs to protect nature”, said Dave Copeman, Director of Queensland Conservation Council.

“Australia does need a Federal EPA, but in the absence of underpinning legislation, and when the Minister can override its decisions, we are struggling to see how there will be any reliable benefits to nature”, said James Overington, Executive Officer of Environment Tasmania.

“It’s just not good enough, and we are urging Minister Plibersek to clarify how and when the plan to ‘turn the tide from nature destruction to nature repair’ that she announced in December 2022 will be delivered,” said David Bacon, President of the Conservation Council of South Australia.



MEDIA INFORMATION: The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) is the state’s foremost nonprofit, non-government conservation organisation representing nearly 100 environmental organisations across Western Australia. For more information, visit:

CONTACT: For any enquiries relating to this release, please call 0413 536 966

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