Without the Government’s support, this bill will not pass the House of Representatives and will not pass the Parliament.
Nonetheless, Labor is glad to see parts of the cross bench echoing our call for a strong cop on the beat.
Industry, workers, environmentalists and Australians more broadly are desperate for durable reform to halt Australia’s steep environmental decline and end the delays and mismanagement in this area by the Morrison Government.
Instead, the Morrison Government has completely bungled environmental reform so far, by:
- pre-empting the findings of their own independent review, after it was revealed they began commissioning legislation before the interim report was even finalised;
- rehashing Tony Abbott’s failed 2014 environment bill, which Samuel’s interim report warned against;
- ramming the failed Abbott bill through the lower house and gagging debate;
- ignoring and cherry-picking the recommendations of Samuel’s independent review by failing to introduce national environment standards as the foundation of reform, and then ruling out a genuinely independent cop on the beat for our environment;
- breaking their promise to introduce standards at the same time as other changes;
- leaving the Abbott bill to languish in the Senate for months, without putting it to a vote;
- voting against a Senate inquiry into the impact of the bill on the environment and jobs, and then backflipping to support a sham inquiry, which lasted just hours.
- trying to devolve environmental approvals to the states while ruling out extra funding to deal with additional workload.
Only a Labor Government can protect Australia’s beautiful natural environment.