Plans to weaken Federal environment laws

KoalaUnder pressure from big business and the mining industry, federal and state governments have recently announced a hard line plan to wind back environmental protection laws.

In the guise of cutting ‘green tape’ government and industry propose to hand important federal approval powers to the states and fast track approvals for large developments. If this goes ahead, there will be no Federal protection for threatened species. It will accelerate mining and coal seam gas developments.

What can we do?
A national coalition of environment groups is working to ensure that our Federal environmental laws aren’t scrapped. It needs the support of concerned individuals and community groups across Australia.

In the past the Federal Government has stepped in to stop State governments allowing: • Oil rigs on the Great Barrier Reef • Cattle grazing in the Victorian Alps • the Franklin River dam • Sand mining on Fraser Island • A new coal port in pristine Shoalwater Bay • Traveston Dam blocking the Mary River • Major road through the Tarkine.

Visit the website where you can send an online letter to the Prime Minister, submit photos of the places or wildlife you love and find out more information about the campaign to defend our environmental laws.

Two very revealing assessments on the BCA’s push for getting rid of ‘Green tape’ exposes the weaknesses and failings of their arguments. Charles Berger from the ACF says the cost is minute compared to the cost to businesses of diabetes, weeds and traffic congestion for instance. While the economic analysis of the BCA’s arguments are fairly soundly trounced in a report by Economists At Large.

Briefly, it found that the BCA case:
• Failed to provide reliable figures, cherry-picked figures, and made methodological errors that result in overstated costs;
• Failed to consider benefits of EPBC Act or potential costs from streamlining it further; ignored costs other than those to business;
• Insufficiently linked the stated objectives of lowering costs to business, lifting productivity and enhancing competition with the proposed reform.

This is a very serious threat to our struggling environment. Please help.

Read the ABC coverage here

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