Improving the law

A blueprint for the next generation of environmental law

In 2014, the Places You Love Alliance decided to sponsor and support an independent panel of environmental law experts with the remit to chart how Australia’s national environmental laws needed to be reformed over a decade.

The Australian Panel of Experts in Environmental Law (APEEL) Blueprint reflects international best practice and ensures effective and efficient protection and management of Australia’s environment. 

APEEL developed recommendations for a new generation of Federal environmental legislation that reflected international best practice and ensures effective and efficient protection and management of Australia’s environment. 

Australia deserves a robust and integrated system of national environment laws.

We need to protect our healthy natural ecosystems for future generations. Between 2014 and 2018, the Panel produced a series of ‘technical’ reports on 8 themes, from overarching environmental governance to specific fields of environmental management and use of laws (such as business laws) to achieve environmental outcomes.

The Panel made nearly 60 recommendations for law reform and produced the Blueprint for the Next Generation of Australian Environmental Law in 2017. 

Key focus of the work:

  • Current Federal environmental law: An assessment of the coverage and effectiveness of current federal environmental legislation. 
  • Role of the Federal government: Identifying the appropriate role and level of involvement for the federal government in environmental matters, including by taking into account approaches and experiences of other Federal systems including the USA, Canada and EU.
  • Collaborative approaches: Identifying the opportunities for cooperative approaches to environmental matters to be pursued by the federal government with the states and territories. 
  • Administrative architecture: Consideration of the design of appropriate institutional and administrative architecture for new federal environmental governance for Australia. 
  • New Legislative Frameworks: Designing the components of a ‘state of the art’ omnibus law (or package of laws) at the federal level intended to supersede the EPBC Act and other identified federal environmental legislation. 
  • Best practice approaches: Best practice approaches to environmental management and administration, democratic and participatory governance, enforcement strategies and the achievement of effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of strong environmental outcomes.