Submission To The Inquiry Into Nature Positive (Environment Protection Australia) Bill 2024 [Provisions] And Related Bills

Written by:
8 July 2024
Submission To The Inquiry Into Nature Positive (Environment Protection Australia) Bill 2024 [Provisions] And Related Bills - Featured image

Nature Positive is an undemocratic and unaccountable policy that will impose immense social and economic costs on Australian

The purpose of this letter is to provide research and analysis conducted by the Institute of Public Affairs (the IPA) to the Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications (the Committee) as it conducts its inquiry into the Nature Positive (Environment Information Australia) Bill 2024 [Provisions] and related bills.

The bills seek to establish two new government agencies, Environment Protection Australia (EPA) and Environment Information Australia (EIA), and to transfer a wide range of regulatory decision-making responsibilities in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) from the federal environment minister to the person appointed to be CEO of EPA.

The Nature Positive Plan exemplifies the detachment of the political class from mainstream Australian society. Despite its potential to impose significant and radical economic harm on the country, the federal government entered into international commitments to implement its goals without public debate, and the Nature Positive Plan was adopted in full in December 2022, only after an election was held.

Subsequently, the Nature Positive Plan has received little scrutiny and there is minimal public understanding over what ‘Nature Positive’ will mean in practice once it is fully implemented, and who in the community will incur the costs.

The IPA has conducted and collected a significant body of research in relation to the origins of Nature Positive, the potential administrative costs to the taxpayer, and the undemocratic character of the plan. The IPA analysis of the bills finds:

  • Nature Positive is undemocratic.
  • The Nature Positive Plan is inconsistent with the Samuel Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
  • Environment Protection Australia and Environment Information Australia will be unaccountable to parliament, and Environment Protection Australia has the potential to be highly secretive.
  • The bills will increase Green Tape, which is currently at a record high.

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