13 October 2023

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek is miles off her own deadlines to reform the EPBC Act and has not genuinely engaged with the Opposition, putting at risk any meaningful passage of the legislation.

Minister Plibersek recently spoke with a regional media outlet to state that the first consultation on EPBC Act changes will begin later this month, supposedly “two months ahead of schedule”.

However, in responding to the Samuel Review of the Act in December last year through the Nature Positive Plan, Minister Plibersek stated that the new package of environmental legislation “would be prepared in the first six months of 2023” and that the exposure draft would be “introduced into Parliament before the end of 2023”.

Shadow Environment Minister Jonno Duniam:

“Minister Plibersek hasn’t kept up with her self-imposed dates and has so far failed to consult with the Opposition in making reforms to the EPBC Act, putting at risk any passage of legislation.”

“We haven’t been a part of the consultation process, but this is a typical Labor way of doing government.”

“Like their industrial relations reforms and the Voice, it’s their way or the highway, and they will presumably seek to wholly blame the Coalition when their agenda isn’t 100 per cent supported, despite opposition from stakeholders across the board.”

“It’s clear Labor are going to play wedge politics with the EPBC reforms, just like they did with the Safeguard Mechanism.”

“Labor’s botched handling of this process and lack of consultation will jeopardise passage of environmental reforms.”