committee recommends that the objects of the Act be amended to remove the words
'to provide for' from section 3(1)(a) and 3(1)(ca).
committee recommends that the appropriateness of a greenhouse trigger under the
Act and the nature of any such trigger, should it be required, be carefully
considered in light of the findings of the independent review and in the
context of the government's overall response to climate change, in particular
committee recommends that, having regard to the conclusions of the review of
the National Framework for the Management and Monitoring of Australia's
Native Vegetation currently underway, and in light of advice from the Threatened
Species Scientific Committee, the government should consider including a land
clearing trigger in the Act.
committee recommends that the government give urgent consideration to
increasing the resources available to the department in the areas of
assessment, monitoring, complaint investigation, compliance, auditing projects
approved under Part 3, and enforcement action.
committee recommends that the department undertake regular evaluation of the
long-term environmental outcomes of decisions made under the Act, and that the
government ensure agency resources are adequate to undertake this new activity.
committee recommends that the Independent Review of the EPBC Act and / or the
ANAO examine the effect of existing bilateral agreements on the quality of
environmental assessments of matters of national environmental significance.
The committee suggests that particular regard be given to the transparency of,
public engagement in, and appeal rights in relation to assessments performed
under a bilateral agreement, compared to the conditions that would have existed
had the assessment been performed under the EPBC Act.
committee recommends that the government review the interaction between the
EPBC Act and the Fisheries Management Act in relation to the conservation of
fish species and relevant assessment processes.
committee recommends that the process for nomination and listing of threatened
species or ecological communities be amended to improve transparency, rigour
and timeliness. Changes that should be considered include:
requiring publication of the Scientific Committee's proposed priority
assessment list or reducing ministerial discretion to revise the priority
list under section 194K; and
Reducing the maximum
period allowed for an assessment under section 194P(3).
committee recommends that government policy regarding the use of 'offsets' for habitat
conservation state that the use of offsets:
is a last resort;
must deliver a net
environmental gain; and
should not be
accepted as a mitigating mechanism in instances where other policies or
legislation (such as state vegetation protection laws) are already protecting
the habitat proposed for use as an offset.
committee recommends that consideration be given to expanding the scope for
merits review in relation to ministerial decisions under the Act, particularly
in relation to:
whether an action is
a controlled action,
decisions on whether
a species or ecological community is to be listed under the Act.
The committee recommends that the independent review examine
this possibility in the first instance, and that the process of consideration
should include consultation with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
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