Oct 18, 2006

Environment and Heritage Legislation Amendment Bill 2006

Environment and Heritage Legislation Amendment Bill 2006

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

18 October 2006

The Labor Party will be moving substantial amendments to the Environment and Heritage Legislation Amendment Bill and will oppose the Bill if our amendments are not carried.

The Bill is a missed opportunity to protect Australia from dangerous climate change and to protect and restore our precious natural environment.

The Bill has 409 pages of amendments, but not a single measure to protect Australia from dangerous climate change or cut Australia’s soaring greenhouse pollution.

The Bill is being rushed through the Parliament without proper consideration or consultation. It curtails third party appeal rights, undermines public consultation and further politicises decision-making.

The Bill abolishes the right to appeal Ministerial decisions relating to the protection of whales and dolphins, threatened species and other wildlife.

If the Minister for the Environment really believes climate change is “a very serious threat to Australia”, he will support Labor’s amendments.

Labor will move amendments to the Bill to:

· ensure large scale greenhouse polluting projects are assessed by the Federal Government;

· make it an objective of the Act to protect Australia from the adverse effects of climate change;

· restore five yearly reviews to ensure the Act reflects community attitudes on the environmental challenges that should trigger the Act; and

· maintain the integrity of the Register of the National Estate, which contains more than 13,000 sites of natural, cultural and Indigenous heritage significance.