Image Bastion Point protest

Last night, Minister for Environment approved (under the Coastal Management Act) what is called a ‘boat ramp' but what is actually closer to a marina or at the very least an 'ocean access facility', in Mallacoota in far East Gippsland.

Survey Equipment image

In Victoria, the Minister for Planning has substantial powers to intervene in planning decisions – powers the EDO has always claimed should be curbed.  So we were surprised when The Age yesterday reported that the Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, is seeking

Image cattle to water black and white

Last Friday the Federal Court added its voice to the continuing alpine grazing saga - it handed down its decision on whether Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke's rejection of the trial was valid.  Justice Susan Kenny of the Federal Court found that it most definitely was. 

Here it is - number 10 in our blog series '10 Reasons why responsibility for national environmental laws ought not be transferred to the States'

International agreements and their implementation must remain the responsibility of the Commonwealth.

The matters that our national environmental laws seek to protect largely reflect international obligations that Australia has assumed under agreements dealing with areas such as threatened species, migratory species, wetlands and world heritage areas.

*In breaking news this morning, the Prime Minister is reconsidering her plans to delegate Commonwealth environmental approvals powers to the States.

It is reckless for the Commonwealth Government to hand over more responsibility for environmental protection to the States.

At the end of the day, the Commonwealth totally vacating the space of environmental protection in Australia is an overly drastic move that is just not necessary to achieve the efficiency and productivity savings advocated for by the Business Advisory Forum.

Setting national rules and standards across all sorts of spheres of life has been a trend for decades and it has been at Federal Government level that leadership has often been wielded. As far as business is concerned the long-term trend is to seek national arrangements over disparate State and Territory regimes.

Major developments - whether they be new roads or ports, or new open cut coal mines - can have serious impacts on our environment.  Fortunately, nationally important environmental features, like the Great Barrier Reef, or nationally threatened species, are protected by Federal environmental laws, and the Federal government assesses major projects to ensure that they don't destroy or significant


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