Environment minister Plibersek has recognised the dismal failings of our national environmental laws. Her commitment to rewrite this law coupled with her commitment to zero new extinctions provides an exciting opportunity to establish a new era in nature conservation.
Central to this must be a concerted focus on overcoming the major threats driving extinctions and declines – invasive species, habitat destruction, adverse fire regimes and climate change. We’ve done the work to map out what nature needs, which you can explore on our Threats to Nature website.
Australia is facing an extinction crisis with invasive species being one of the major drivers in the decline of our native biodiversity. Scientific experts and the federal government’s own independent review have found national environmental laws are fundamentally broken.
The federal government has committed to a goal of no new extinctions. It is an ambitious target that will require radical reform of our national laws and institutions. We have done the work to map out what needs to change to strengthen Australia’s threat abatement system. The laws, the institutions and the oversight needed. As well as the funding.
Minister Plibersek has said she will be replacing Australia’s national environment laws this year and establishing a national environment protection agency.
The last time we had a moment like this Sydney was about to host the Olympic games, iPhones didn’t exist and most people still used dial-up internet. Myrtle rust hadn’t arrived to devastate our rainforests and Cairns was still free from yellow crazy ants. The last time we had a moment like this there were Christmas island pipistrelles, blue-tailed skinks and bramble cay melomys still living in the wild.
This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape how our environment is protected so that future generations can experience the true wonder of nature in Australia. We must ensure the federal government keeps true to its word and enacts stronger national environmental laws that significantly improve the way Australia tackles major threats to nature, including invasive species.
Not only can we set nature on the path to zero new extinctions, but if we get this right, we can set Australia on the road to recover the diversity and abundance of native wildlife we have lost across the country.
The Threats to Nature project maps out what needs to change to strengthen Australia’s threat abatement system and environment laws. Learn more about what nature needs on our Threats to Nature web pages.