6 December 2023

In a late-night deal with the Greens, the Albanese Government have completely abdicated their role in environmental law reform and thrown jobs under the bus by agreeing to tail on the water trigger to their flawed nature repair legislation.

The result of a deal with the Greens to expand the water trigger was given with hardly an hour’s notice and no time for detailed scrutiny or debate in the Senate. The technique of ramming legislation through without proper scrutiny has become a hallmark of the Albanese Government.

Instead, the Government caved to Greens demands that will make it harder for gas supplies to enter the market, throwing into doubt jobs and compounding the cost of living.

As recently as October, Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek said that any other significant changes to environmental law reform would only be made following the Government’s long-promised, broader overhaul of the EPBC Act.

Professor Graeme Samuel’s review also specifically recommended that the water trigger should not be extended at Federal level.

Senator Jonno Duniam said that these rushed laws will be bad for the economy:

“This legislation is an example of a Government that will do anything they can to get Greens’ idealistic legislation through the Parliament. Minister Plibersek wants to look good at whatever cost, be it at the cost of jobs or sustainable resource projects, with no serious consideration of the practical consequences until a later date. This is not how legislation should be made.”

“We have blatant backroom deals with Labor’s natural governing partner, the Greens. We don’t know what price the Government have paid to ram this legislation through but whatever it is, it won’t be good for the economy.”

“This is policy on the run that is a duplication of state-based legislation and will see green lawfare turbocharged.”