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10.2 - Phase 2—initiate complex reforms and establish mechanisms for continuous improvement

The proposed reform agenda involves key elements that need to be initiated and established, and require ongoing development, review and adjustment. These reform proposals require sustained investment because they underpin the effective and efficient operation of the EPBC Act.

This phase of reform should commence as soon possible, so that the policy development and implementation plans can be finalised, and resourcing commitments made.

The 6 areas of ongoing focus for phase 2 are:

  • Establish the framework for monitoring, reporting on and evaluating the performance of the EPBC Act, with a key focus on the arrangements for National Environmental Standards and national and regional plans. Commitment to implementing the framework is essential, to enable the settings to be improved over time.
  • Start the conversation with the states and territories about their regional planning priorities, and priorities for strategic national plans.
  • Start the conversation on the revamp of the national State of the Environment report to support a step forward in the delivery of the upcoming 2021 report, and establish the formal objectives, timing and approach to the Commonwealth Government response for subsequent reports.
  • Commit to sustained engagement with Indigenous Australians to co-design reforms that are important to them—ensure culturally respectful use of their knowledge, effective national protections for their culture and heritage, and work with them to meet their aspirations to manage their land in partnership with the Commonwealth.
  • Appoint a national custodian, responsible for delivering the information supply chain and overhauling the systems that the Department needs to capture value from the supply chain.
  • Establish the mechanisms to better leverage investment to deliver the scale of restoration required for future development in Australia to be sustainable in the long-term.