Labor’s proposed EPA model would include two divisions: a compliance-assurance division and an information, analysis and environmental data division.
The Queensland government is also looking into an independent Environmental Protection Agency.
Butler stated that Labor’s federal EPA model was created to share data between states.
She stated that the data division will respond to the views of industry, stakeholders, and community members about how Australia can improve its efforts as a nation.
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 previously decried the federal approvals process for environmental permits and said that the system should return to decisions based in 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 acts through court action to challenge issues that it believes require protection. In January 2022, nine recommendationsIt believes that the national EPA should include these substances.
Rachel Walmsley, EDO’s acting chief executive, stated that there were many gaps in federal environmental law and strongly supported the establishment of a national EPA.
Walmsley stated that an independent, statutory EPA is needed to cut through politics, examine the evidence, collect the data and science, and have a strong enforcement mandate.
It must have sufficient resources to be able to 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 said that stronger enforcement mechanisms, as well as improved scientific analysis, can help protect the animals that we love.