"The cause of Australia’s rapidly deteriorating environmental indices is failure to uphold environment protection and biodiversity conservation. The Howard government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, 1999, succeeded in failure because it had no policing of mandated protection.
To address this, Graeme Samuel’s Interim Report calls for 'an independent compliance and enforcement regulator that is not subject to actual or implied political direction. It should be properly resourced and have a full toolkit of powers.'
At the outset, Prime Minister Morrison and Environment Minister Ley have rejected this recommendation. Ditto for policing protection of Indigenous heritage. They want the failure to continue but in a less cumbersome form. They have pulled out Samuel’s incisors. Bring on weak, indeterminate National Environmental Standards (and Indigenous heritage ones too) and transfer all care to the states. This will ensure failure continues to succeed. Witness Howard’s regional forest agreements. In Tasmania, the RFA even set up a state-run Forest Practices Authority which has consistently ticked off on the logging and burning of wildlife-filled ancient forests, killing the habitat of every rare and endangered creature in them," said Bob Brown.
"Australia faces this question: are we prepared to stop developments which threaten the survival of our species and heritage - such as coal mines and clear-fell logging - or are we not? The ‘cutting of green tape’ process now under way makes it clear most Australians are not.
Let everyone, environmentalists included, be clear about this: the government has scuttled enforced environmental protection. Laws to protect public safety and halt corporate corruption come with watchdogs and police. However, the Morrison government’s new environmental laws will come with no teeth," concluded Bob Brown.