17 April 2024

Tanya Plibersek’s environmental reform program has been lambasted by Senators and environmental stakeholders at a Senate hearing in Canberra today as questions over timelines and the nature of her scaled-back reforms continue to mount.

Shadow Environment Minister Jonno Duniam questioned whether we would see any legislation before the next election:

“Tanya Plibersek said that there was nothing more urgent than fixing our environmental laws. Her actions have shown anything but that. The absence of any commitment to timelines means that this has been kicked into the too-hard-basket and that we likely won’t see any serious reform before the next election.”

“The Environment Minister chose to focus on campaigning for the Voice to Parliament rather than driving her Department to change the EPBC Act by the end of last year, as she promised. Business and environment groups, and the community at large, are now all suffering from her procrastination.”

“After almost two years as Environment Minister, we have an expanded bureaucracy, slower environmental approval processes and no timeline on when Ms Plibersek will release her missing EPBC reforms.”

“From go to whoa, the process to reform the EPBC Act has been a shambles.”

“The clear, staged plan for reform of the EPBC Act that Professor Graham Samuel outlined in his 2020 review has been thrown out the window by Ms Plibersek, and stakeholders that appeared at today’s Senate inquiry are rightly furious.”