5 December 2023

One of the Albanese Government’s biggest legislative failures is about to get even messier as Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek tries to finalise a deal with the Greens to pass her flawed Nature Repair Market (NRM) Bills.

This is despite near-unanimous agreement amongst stakeholder groups, and other parliamentarians, that Ms Plibersek’s long-promised overhaul of the EPBC Act should precede the passage of the NRM laws.

The Government itself recently deferred the tabling of a Senate committee inquiry into the NRM Bills to April 2024 – but made a shock move in recent days to finalise that inquiry and ram the Bills through the Senate with little opportunity for other Senators to object.

The lack of scrutiny, and the guillotining of debate, on such an important piece of legislation is shocking. This shambolic approach has subverted due process, albeit that such conduct has rapidly become a hallmark of the Albanese Government.

Two hours into the Senate debate on the Bills, most Senators are still yet to see Greens or Government amendments. That is a shocking indictment on both parties, and makes one wonder about the price that has been paid for any such deal and its consequences for other Australians.