Stakeholder consultation update
Professor Graeme Samuel AC continued to engage with stakeholders throughout April and May prior to releasing the Interim Report in July. Professor Samuel will talk to stakeholders over the coming months to refine his proposed reform directions, ahead of finalising his Report and recommendations by the end of October.
Following the last consultation update in March, Professor Graeme Samuel AC continued to engage with stakeholders to further understand their views and explore opportunities for improvement within the EPBC Act.
Between April and June, Professor Samuel met with Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, Terri Butler MP and Josh Wilson (Australian Labor Party), The Wilderness Society, Humane Society International, WWF Australia, Dr Chris Sarra (Director-General, Queensland Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships), Law Council of Australia, the Indigenous Advisory Committee and the Commonwealth Fisheries Association.
Three roundtables were also held to explore key issues and potential future reform directions:
- Environmental protection and biodiversity conservation which was attended by 8 national environment organisations
- Information and data attended by 13 science institutions
- Streamlining regulation attended by 18 national level industry groups (held over two sessions).
In addition to submissions received in response to the Discussion Paper, views from engagement activities between late 2019 and June 2020 assisted Professor Samuel shape the views in the Interim Report.
Since the release of the Interim Report in late July, Professor Samuel has begun the final round of engagement for the Review. He has met with the National Farmers’ Federation Sustainable Development Committee, the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Heritage Committee.
A broad cross section of national-level interest groups have also been invited to participate in fortnightly discussions on the core reform proposals, as part of a consultative group. The group is comprised of a representative from each of the following organisations:
- Australian Academy of Science
- Australian Conservation Foundation
- Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association
- Business Council of Australia
- Coalition of the Peaks (NACCHO)
- Environmental Defenders Office
- Humane Society International
- Law Council of Australia
- Minerals Council of Australia
- National Farmers’ Federation
- Property Council
- Urban Development Institute of Australia
- Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists
- World Wildlife Fund
The following leading experts are also participating in this group:
- Mr Peter Yu Vice President First Nations, Australian National University
- Honorary Associate Professor Peter Burnett ANU College of Law
- Professor Brendan Wintle Threatened Species Recovery Hub
- Dr Megan Evans Public Service Research Group, UNSW
- Professor Michael Douglas Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub
While the range of interest groups is broad, the number of participants has been limited to facilitate effective discussion via video conference. Professor Samuel will continue to seek feedback from other key stakeholders in the coming months. Upcoming meetings include the EPBC Act statutory committees, the joint management boards of Commonwealth Parks and state and territory government departments.