Policy report
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Devolving extinction? 2.02 MB

The EPBC Amendment (Streamlining Environmental Approvals) Bill 2020 is being promoted by the Government as comprising minor technical amendments needed to facilitate the making of durable bilateral agreements between the Commonwealth and States and Territories to hand over environmental approval powers.

This review of state and territory laws shows the same conclusion from earlier audits – not only does no state or territory law meet current national standards, but in some jurisdictions, the environmental protections in state and territory laws have actually been weakened.

Key findings:

  1. Does Commonwealth accreditation of state and territory laws deliver environmental outcomes? Mostly no.
  2. Can state and territory laws guarantee national standards will be implemented? No
  3. Do state and territory systems have independent assurance, compliance and enforcement (and deal effectively with conflicts of interest)? No
  4. Do state and territory laws adequately implement international obligations? No
  5. Do state and territory laws adequately address cumulative and cross boundary impacts? No
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