14 June 2016


WWF-Australia has welcomed today’s policy commitment by the Australian Labor Party to overhaul Australia’s aging environmental laws and explore options to set up an independent environment structure.

The commitment comes in the wake of today’s confirmation that Australia’s Bramble Cay Melomys is now extinct, and the recent coral bleaching event that has devastated the Great Barrier Reef.

WWF-Australia spokesperson Nick Heath said stronger federal laws are urgently needed to protect Australia’s threatened species and special places like the Great Barrier Reef.

“Australia has the worst rate of mammal extinctions in the world, and our Great Barrier Reef is unfortunately now the face of climate change,” Mr Heath said.

“Our existing laws are clearly no longer working to protect the thousands of native species now listed as threatened."

“If we want to turn around the decline in threatened species and the health of our Reef, we need a new generation of environment laws."

“We need a robust and transparent approvals process that delivers effective environmental protection to keep the places we love thriving."

“Today’s commitment by the ALP, and their previous commitment to prevent damaging land clearing, are critical steps towards a more sustainable future.”

This election, WWF-Australia – as a member of the Places You Love Alliance representing Australia’s 40 largest environment groups and 1.5 million Australians – is calling for a new generation of strong national environment laws, policies and institutions. This includes:

  • a new Commonwealth Environment Act, providing national leadership on environmental protection;
  • expanded Commonwealth oversight to climate, water and reserves and harmful invasive species;
  • an independent Environment Authority to administer national environment law; and
  • increased accountability, integrity and transparency in decision-making. 

WWF-Australia Media Contact: Daniel Rockett, National Media Manager, 0432 206 592, drockett@wwf.org.au