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Australian Koala Foundation

Submission in response to discussion paper

Some have argued that past changes to the EPBC Act to add new matters of national environmental significance did not go far enough. Others have argued it has extended the regulatory reach of the Commonwealth too far. What do you think?

I believe that the EPBC Act do not really protect the environment. With good environment, native Australian animals will be protected.(especially the koala)

How could the principle of Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) be better reflected in the EPBC Act? For example, could the consideration of environmental, social and economic factors, which are core components of ESD, be achieved through greater inclusion of cost benefit analysis in decision making?

The principle of Ecologically Sustainable Development can be reflected in the EPBC act by getting a Koala Protection Act as part of the EPBC Act.

Should the objects of the EPBC Act be more specific?

Yes the objects of the EPBC ACT should be more specific by getting a Koala Protection Act included.

Should the matters of national environmental significance within the EPBC Act be changed? How?

The matters of national environmental significance be changed by incorporating the Koala Protection Act. As you know the United States have a Bald Eagles Protection Act. We shall make the Koala Protection Act similar to the Bald Eagles Protection Act in the USA. This will protect our koala population for future generations.

Which elements of the EPBC Act should be priorities for reform? For example, should future reforms focus on assessment and approval processes or on biodiversity conservation? Should the Act have proactive mechanisms to enable landholders to protect matters of national environmental significance and biodiversity, removing the need for regulation in the right circumstances?

The EPBC Act should focus on logging. We shall stop the logging of forests. This is because logging would cause the ground to be more dry and increase the chance of bushfires.

What high level concerns should the review focus on? For example, should there be greater focus on better guidance on the EPBC Act, including clear environmental standards? How effective has the EPBC Act been in achieving its statutory objectives to protect the environment and promote ecologically sustainable development and biodiversity conservation? What have been the economic costs associated with the operation and administration of the EPBC Act?

The review should focus on getting much more tougher environment protection standards. The current EPBC ACT is too outdated and does not really protect the environment. This increases the risk of climate change.

What additional future trends or supporting evidence should be drawn on to inform the review?

We shall focus on climate change and climate change is destroying the Great Barrier Reef. If the Great Barrier Reef is being destroyed, it will destroy at least 60,000 tourist jobs in northern Queensland.

Should the EPBC Act regulate environmental and heritage outcomes instead of managing prescriptive processes?

Yes

Should the EPBC Act position the Commonwealth to take a stronger role in delivering environmental and heritage outcomes in our federated system? Who should articulate outcomes? Who should provide oversight of the outcomes? How do we know if outcomes are being achieved?

Yes, the EPBC Act should take a stronger role in delivering environmental and heritage outcomes in our federated system. We would know if outcomes is achieved if the koala population start increasing again.

Should there be a greater role for national environmental standards in achieving the outcomes the EPBC Act seeks to achieve?

In our federated system should they be prescribed through:

  • Non-binding policy and strategies?

  • Expansion of targeted standards, similar to the approach to site contamination under the National Environment Protection Council, or water quality in the Great Barrier Reef catchments?

  • The development of broad environmental standards with the Commonwealth taking a monitoring and assurance role? Does the information exist to do this?

Yes

How can environmental protection and environmental restoration be best achieved together?

  • Should the EPBC Act have a greater focus on restoration?

  • Should the Act include incentives for proactive environmental protection?

  • How will we know if we?re successful?

  • How should Indigenous land management practices be incorporated?

The EPBC Act should focus on restoring koala habitat.

Are heritage management plans and associated incentives sensible mechanisms to improve? How can the EPBC Act adequately represent Indigenous culturally important places? Should protection and management be place-based instead of values based?

Yes

Should the EPBC Act require the use of strategic assessments to replace case-by-case assessments? Who should lead or participate in strategic assessments?

Yes

Should the matters of national significance be refined to remove duplication of responsibilities between different levels of government? Should states be delegated to deliver EPBC Act outcomes subject to national standards?

Yes

Should low-risk projects receive automatic approval or be exempt in some way? How could data help support this approach? Should a national environmental database be developed? Should all data from environmental impact assessments be made publicly available?

Projects always need approval if they involve logging of forests. Actually forests should never be logged if native Australian wildlife live there.

Should the Commonwealth?s regulatory role under the EPBC Act focus on habitat management at a landscape-scale rather than species-specific protections?

The Commonwealth regulatory role under the EPBC Act should focus on habitat management for native Australian animals as well as focusing on protecting the koala population.

Should the EPBC Act be amended to enable broader accreditation of state and territory, local and other processes?

Yes

Are there adequate incentives to give the community confidence in self-regulation?

No

How should the EPBC Act support the engagement of Indigenous Australians in environment and heritage management?

  • How can we best engage with Indigenous Australians to best understand their needs and potential contributions?

  • What mechanisms should be added to the Act to support the role of Indigenous Australians?

Not sure.

How should community involvement in decision-making under the EPBC Act be improved? For example, should community representation in environmental advisory and decision making bodies be increased?

Community involvement should be increased.

What is the priority for reform to governance arrangements? The decision-making structures or the transparency of decisions? Should the decision makers under the EPBC Act be supported by different governance arrangements?

It should be given high priority.

What innovative approaches could the review consider that could efficiently and effectively deliver the intended outcomes of the EPBC Act? What safeguards would be needed?

If developers would want to bulldoze forests, immediately stop them bulldozing forests.

Should the Commonwealth establish new environmental markets? Should the Commonwealth implement a trust fund for environmental outcomes?

Yes, it certainly should establish new environmental markets.

What do you see are the key opportunities to improve the current system of environmental offsetting under the EPBC Act?

Make the current environmental laws much more strict.

How could private sector and philanthropic investment in the environment be best supported by the EPBC Act?

  • Could public sector financing be used to increase these investments?

  • What are the benefits, costs or risks with the Commonwealth developing a public investment vehicle to coordinate EPBC Act offset funds?

Not sure.

Do you have suggested improvements to the above principles? How should they be applied during the review and in future reform?

I suggest that we immediately enact a Koala Protection Act.

Is the EPBC Act delivering what was intended in an efficient and effective manner?

No, it is not delivering what was intended in an efficient and effective manner.

How well is the EPBC Act being administered?

The EPBC Act is not being administered that well.

Is the EPBC Act sufficient to address future challenges? Why?

We need to change the current EPBC Act to make the environment laws much more stricter than it's current state. Otherwise it is totally insufficient to address future challenges.

What are the priority areas for reform?

We need to implement laws which can protect the environment, native Australian animals like the koala. By introducing the koala protection act(as set by Australian Koala Foundation) should be a priority area for reform.

What changes are needed to the EPBC Act? Why?

As a long time koala supporter, I'm interested in Koala Conservation. The Koala species are already endangered and need to be protected. A big threat to the koala species that I see are wild dogs. Study findings produced by The Moreton Bay Rail Link koala monitoring and management program, which placed tracking devices on 400 koalas in the area over two years. Results of the monitoring found that of the 400 koalas tracked, 130 were found dead mostly due to wild dog attacks. I would like to see all those wild dogs dealt with, I would like to see some intervention on the protection of habitats.
Another threat that I see are destruction of Koala habitat due to human activity(as stated explicitly on the following article https://www.theage.com.au/national/koalas-starved-says-farmer-accused-o…), large number of koalas killed by high speeding vehicles and also attacks by domestic dogs. My suggestion is that we ban owners keeping fierce dogs near the koala habitat. Another threat that I see is when certain koala habitats are destroyed, they have to move somewhere else and they could easily get chlamydia which affects the fertility problems of koala. A cure of this disease need to be find in order to protect koala population in the whole of Australia.
In recent times, it has become increasingly clear that existing legislation is incapable of providing the level of protection needed to save the Koala and I am shocked to hear that the federal government have decided to allow the States to administer koala legislation, even though the Senate Report showed they were completely incapable of protecting the koala and its habitat.
If you look at the Bald Eagle act in USA, it has prevented the Bald Eagle from extinction. It is easy to draw parallels between the Bald Eagle and the Koala; they are both iconic to each country.
The document is written now and I am hoping that you will consider supporting the legislation because it is time that simple and common sense regulations were put in place to protect koala habitat. I extremely strongly support the Australian Koala Foundation and believe you should participate. We need to address all these issues. Otherwise the Koala species will become extinct. I look forward to your comments.

Is there anything else of importance to you that you would like the review to consider?

Make protection our koala population in Australian an absolute priority.

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Submission ID
ANON-K57V-XFPZ-N

In response to

Discussion paper
Author
Australian Koala Foundation

Themes

Threatened species
Great Barrier Reef
Environmental Impact Assessments
Conservation
Commonwealth National parks
Climate Change