On 30 October 2020 the independent reviewer of the Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), Professor Graeme Samuel AC, provided the Minister for the Environment with his final report. Although dated October 2020, the report was tabled to Parliament and made publicly available on 28 January 2021. The independent review of the EPBC Act has been an ongoing process which we have written about before.
The final report concludes that the EPBC Act is outdated and requires fundamental reform.
There are ultimately 38 recommendations in the review said to amount to substantial and necessary reforms to reverse the current state of environmental decline.
Contributions to the review highlighted the need to manage the environment in a strategic and systematic way. Some submissions suggested that the Commonwealth take over the environmental responsibilities of the states and territories. The final review, however, concludes that is neither appropriate or necessary.