Inquiry on the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Standards and Assurance) Bill 2021
The submission to the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee in response to its inquiry into the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Standards and Assurance) Bill 2021 (the Bill) was prepared by the Law Council of Australia.
The Law Council commends the intent to respond swiftly to the Final Report of the Independent Review (the Review) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) prepared by Professor Graeme Samuel AC.
The Bill would amend the EPBC Act to establish a framework for the making, varying, revoking and application of National Environmental Standards (Standards). The Bill also seeks to establish an Environment Assurance Commissioner to undertake monitoring or auditing of the operation of bilateral agreements with states and territories and Commonwealth processes for making and enforcing approval decisions.
The introduction of legally enforceable Standards is critically important and the Law Council endorses the Bill’s attempt to provide for these in principle.
You can read the full submission below.