Labor’s proposed EPA model would contain two divisions, a compliance and assurance section and an environmental data information and analysis section.
The Queensland government is also researching the possibility of establishing an independent Environmental Protection Agency.
Butler stated that Labor’s federal EPA model was created to share data between states.
She said that the data division will respond directly to the needs of the community, stakeholder, and industry.
To help with decision-making and policy development and to reduce transaction costs in environmental assessments, we need to collect and store data about the environment.
Butler stated that this was a clear recommendation from Samuels’ report, which noted fragmentation of environmental information.
Samuel reported that there is no reliable source of information about the environment that people can trust.
Butler had earlier decried federal environmental approvals and stated that the system must return back to decisions based upon environmental law.
She stated that Labor’s environmental legacy included nominating Daintree Wet Tropics Queensland, Shark Bay in WA and Uluru Kata Tjuta National Parks in the Northern Territory, Gondwana rainforest, and the Tasmanian Wilderness to World Heritage listing.
The idea of a national EPA is something that has been explored numerous times, including research done by the network of Environmental Defenders Offices.
The EDO uses court action to challenge issues it believes are protected and is represented by the EDO Nine recommendations for January 2022It believes that the national EPA should include these substances.
Rachel Walmsley, EDO acting chief executive, stated there are many gaps in environmental law at federal level and strongly supports the establishment of a National EPA.
Walmsley stated that an independent, statutory EPA is needed to cut through politics, examine the evidence, collect the science, and have a strong enforcement mandate.
It must have adequate resources so that it can enforce environmental law.
Queensland Conservation Council welcomed the oppositions’ pledge. It stated that the Samuel review indicated that stronger environmental action is needed.
Director Dave Copeman stated that stronger enforcement mechanisms and a better scientific analysis of the plights of threatened species will only help to protect the animals we love.