Photograph | Bill & Mark Bell
On Friday 7 December, COAG (the Council of Australian Governments) will take the next step to empowering the states to make decisions under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act through bilateral approval agreements.
Not since 1972 have the states controlled environmental decision-making. Now the Commonwealth intends to hand this responsibility to Premiers with clear anti-environmental credentials. Instead of the national leadership required to look after an entire continent, its surrounding seas and unique wildlife, responsibility under an already weak law will be fragmented amongst eight jurisdictions. This is a giant step backwards, the most serious attach on Australia’s environment in over 40 years.
Briefing on what’s planned: Commonwealth abandons environment