On 27 June 2018, the Senate referred the following matter to the Environment and Communications References Committee for inquiry and report by 4 December 2018:
Australia's faunal extinction crisis, including:
- the ongoing decline in the population and conservation status of Australia's nearly 500 threatened fauna species;
- the wider ecological impact of faunal extinction;
- the international and domestic obligations of the Commonwealth Government in conserving threatened fauna;
- the adequacy of Commonwealth environment laws, including but not limited to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, in providing sufficient protections for threatened fauna and against key threatening processes;
- the adequacy and effectiveness of protections for critical habitat for threatened fauna under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999;
- the adequacy of the management and extent of the National Reserve System, stewardship arrangements, covenants and connectivity through wildlife corridors in conserving threatened fauna;
- the use of traditional knowledge and management for threatened species recovery and other outcomes as well as opportunities to expand the use of traditional knowledge and management for conservation;
- the adequacy of existing funding streams for implementing threatened species recovery plans and preventing threatened fauna loss in general;
- the adequacy of existing monitoring practices in relation to the threatened fauna assessment and adaptive management responses;
- the adequacy of existing assessment processes for identifying threatened fauna conservation status;
- the adequacy of existing compliance mechanisms for enforcing Commonwealth environment law; and
- any related matters.
The closing date for submissions is 13 August 2018.
On 8 August 2018, the Committee agreed to extend the date for the receipt of submissions to 10 September 2018.
On 26 November 2018, the Senate granted an extension of time to report until 29 May 2019.
On 2 April 2019, the Senate granted a further extension of time to report until 13 November 2019.
The committee tabled an interim report on 3 April 2019.