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Supplementary submission: Inquiry on the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Standards and Assurance) Bill 2021

On 4 May 2021, the Law Council appeared before the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee at a public hearing for its inquiry into the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Standards and Assurance) Bill 2021.

This supplementary submission responds to the question which the Law Council took on notice at the public hearing, being to respond to the government’s proposed National Environmental Standard (Matters of Environmental Significance) (the Draft MNES Standard). This submission also briefly touches on some additional key questions raised during the public hearing.

The Law Council wishes to reinforce the importance of establishing strong basic settings by immediately developing for public consultation a full suite of nine National Environmental Standards (Standards), reflecting those put forward by Professor Samuel, before proceeding with substantive reform to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (the EPBC Act).

This can only be achieved with the benefit of the Australian Government’s response to the Final Report of the Independent Review (the Review) of the EPBC Act (the Final Report) and its recommendations as a whole. It maintains its recommendations that both the full suite of recommended Standards and the full government response to the Final Report are necessary precursors to reform.

You can read the full submission below.
 

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