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Yvonne Dols

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? - have argued that past changes to the EPBC Act of adding 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?

After the devestating bush fires, logging continues in koala habitats, this is totally unacceptable and makes a mockery of a nations grief and efforts of rehabilitation!there

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? - How could the principle of Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) be better reflected in the EPBC Act?

There are some decisions that are beyond cost!yesyes

Should the objects of the EPBC Act be more specific?

Yes and more widely known

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

By a panel of environmentalists, EDO lawyers, concerned public and experts on sustainability all of the above

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?

All of the above clear environmental sta

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?

Clear environmental standards regardless of which party is in power! Their protection has been piecemeal at best. No idea of costs?

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

Current situation !

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

Can do both!

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?

A panel of diverse people, conservationists, climate scientists, experts without vested interests or political ties, under a federal umbrella, with complete transparency!

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?

All of the above! We make sure that states work together and share information and research.1

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?

All of the above! 1 & 2. By on the ground reports by reliable people. Consultation with indigenous land owners must be a priority, especially in their own locale.

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 2by research 3 by common sense, both could be integrated!

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

Case by case is important with strategic considerations Every expert in the field.

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 and 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?

No, as who determines low risk? Data can come from the wrong source! National database needed and made public.

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

Both should be of equal importance

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

Needs to be under a federal umberella for the last word.

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

Not at this point

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?

Rangers on site, include their contribution into the act!

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?

Yes, particularly relevant environment organisations.

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?

Both! If it improves the current situation, yes!

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?

Needs a mixture of talent , expertise and liaison with the community. The safeguard would be to keep out “vested” interests for commercial gain solely.

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

Yes and yes, education to “land clearers” would be a good this

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

At this crucial point in time with climate change, fires, drought and man made damage, now is vital to get the message across.

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?

Yes, if completely impartial. Benefits are obvious, cost of projects could be shared, PR opportunities for philanthropic indivuals or organisations. The risk would be selling “out” to the company’s who are environmental “vandals”!

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

All of the above are commendable, the danger being pushed aside when state or indivual interests take precedence.

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

Improvements are always possible

How well is the EPBC Act being administered?

Sometimes it depends on the “political” climate at the time

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

Do future challenges get acknowledged?

What are the priority areas for reform?

Land clearing, threatened animal habitat and mining in inappropriate areas

What changes are needed to the EPBC Act? Why?

As above, as destruction is still happening eg koala habitat!

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

Earn your wages, it’s not just a job, you have the responsibility of the country in. Your hands

Additional information

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Submission ID

In response to

Discussion paper
Yvonne Dols
Stakeholder Category


Threatened species
Matters of National Environmental Significance
Great Barrier Reef
Environmental Impact Assessments