Federal Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek, has been forced into a humiliating backdown today after her nature repair market legislation attracted intense criticism in a Senate committee inquiry.
Early on Friday afternoon, the Environment and Communications Committee was notified that Ms Plibersek had indefinitely postponed the parliamentary consideration of her two nature repair market Bills: the Nature Repair Market Bill 2023 and the Nature Repair Market (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2023.
This followed hours of testimony at the hearing in Canberra, during which witnesses from the environmental NGO sector, State and Territory governments, academia, think tanks, the Threatened Species Scientific Committee and the Law Council of Australia near-unanimously expressed dissatisfaction with Ms Plibersek’s plans for a voluntary biodiversity market.
“Tanya Plibersek’s nature repair market scheme has collapsed today – in the face of a complete lack of confidence among key stakeholders,” said Shadow Environment Minister, Jonno Duniam.
“It’s now abundantly, and embarrassingly, clear that there has been nothing like the required amount of hard work and consultation undertaken by Ms Plibersek on these Bills.
“Across a wide variety of elements associated with these Bills – including the use of offsets, project methodologies, biodiversity instruments, and interaction with other governments – witnesses continually pointed to the unworkability, impracticality and inevitably-adverse impacts of Ms Plibersek’s proposed nature repair scheme.”
Ever since Ms Plibersek and Prime Minister Albanese first signalled their interest last August in creating a biodiversity market, the Coalition has said that they should have followed the blueprint and legislation that we had already created whilst we were in government.
Instead, they thought they knew better – and they bizarrely tried to reinvent the wheel. That has needlessly complicated progress; created irritation, frustration and bewilderment among stakeholders; wasted public money – and now left the Albanese Government with no choice but to embarrassingly climb down.