The Morrison government must change our environment laws – or be guilty of condemning our greatest treasures | Tim Beshara and Suzanne Milthorpe

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We’ve been looking for signs that the Morrison government is willing to implement change, but all we’ve seen is a cynical pattern of avoidance

Sometimes a warning comes along that is so unequivocal and so unimpeachable, from an objective and authoritative source, that it sets a test for a government where they can either act or they can own the consequences that occur when they fail to act. The report by Prof Graeme Samuel AC into Australia’s environmental laws (the cumbersomely named Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act or EPBC Act) is one of those warnings.

It’s not the first time an Australian government has received advice, information or recommendations that unless our laws and policies change, then our iconic species or our most special places are condemned. Every State of the Environment report, released every four years, has shown that the health of our environment has worsened and the trajectory of decline is accelerating. And there’s not a day that passes where a new study or report is released on the fate of our marsupials or fish, forests or oceans, highlighting everything going in the wrong direction.

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