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Chapter 12 - The reform pathway

12.1 - Fundamental reform is needed

A commitment to a clear pathway of staged reform, including substantial legislative changes, is required to achieve the improvements. This requires ongoing monitoring and evaluation, and adjustments as lessons are learnt and new information and ways of doing things emerge. Stakeholders must be willing to accept reform, facilitated by sensible incremental changes. For long-term economic growth, environmental improvement and the effective protection of Australia’s iconic places and heritage, the full package of reforms must be realised.

12.2 - Staging reform

National Environmental Standards should be made immediately in early 2021, supported by reforms to implement an independent Environment Assurance Commissioner, expert advisory committees, transparent decision-making, access to data and information, strong independent compliance and enforcement, effective monitoring and evaluation, access to justice and exploring investment in restoration. Comprehensive enabling reforms should be completed within 12 months. A full overhaul of the EPBC Act should be completed by 2022.