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Media statement: Professor Graeme Samuel AC releases discussion paper

Photograph of two printed and bound copies of the EPBC Act.

I am pleased to have been asked to undertake the second independent review of Australia’s primary national environmental law, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, also known as the EPBC Act.

This review is a once in a decade opportunity to look closely at the EPBC Act and how it operates.

Today I have released a discussion paper to start a conversation about the EPBC Act, and the changes needed to ensure it is fit to handle current and future environmental challenges.

The discussion paper is designed to be thought provoking. It canvases potential areas of focus for the review and broad options for reform. These are not settled views, rather, a starting point to stimulate discussion.

As the Independent Reviewer, my job is to listen to the feedback from the community and business and to provide recommendations on how the legislation can be improved. I will not be providing running commentary on the many views and ideas that will be raised during this review process.

I encourage anyone interested in the Act and how it operates to provide a submission, and in particular respond to the questions set out in the discussion paper. Submissions are a key way for people to express their views, and are an important way to help shape my thinking.

The review has a broad terms of reference, and it is important that I focus on those areas where reform will deliver the greatest benefit for the environment, for business, and for the community while maintaining strong environmental standards.

Submissions are due by close of business Friday 14 February.

To read the discussion paper, find out how to make a submission, and to register your interest in the review please visit the review website.

I look forward to hearing the views of all Australians.

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