The Federal Government has commenced a once-in-a-decade review of Australia’s environmental law to tackle green tape.

The review into the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) will examine the environmental regulatory framework and promote sustainable use of natural resources, ensuring it remains fit for purpose and fit for the future within the context of Australia’s changing environment.

Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley said the review is not about ideology.

“The one thing all sides of the environmental debate concede is that the complexities of the Act are leading to unnecessary delays in reaching decisions and to an increased focus on process rather than outcomes,” she said.

She said delays in EPBC decisions are estimated to cost the economy around $300 million a year and frustrate both business and environmental groups.

As a first step to the review, it is understood Professor Samuel will release a discussion paper in November, and begin initial stakeholder meetings shortly thereafter.

All Australians are invited to share their ideas as part of this review through a new dedicated website here.

Independent Reviewer

  • Professor Graeme Samuel AC is a Professorial Fellow in Monash University’s Business School and School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine. He is also President of Dementia Australia, Chair of the National Health and Medical Research Council National Institute for Dementia Research, Chair of Lorica Health, Chair of South East Melbourne Primary Health Network and Chair of Airlines for Australia and New Zealand.

Expert panel members

  • Mr Bruce Martin is a Wik Ngathan man, from the community of Aurukun on the Western Cape York Peninsula. Mr Martin was an inaugural member of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council, and is a member of the board of the Indigenous Land Corporation, and the council of James Cook University.
  • Dr Erica Smyth AC has 40 years’ experience in the minerals and petroleum industry. She is currently chair of the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority Advisory Board and has held senior roles with BHP and Woodside.
  • Dr Wendy Craik AM has a wealth of experience in natural resource management in Australia and overseas. She is currently chair of the Climate Change Authority, and her past roles include Chair of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, CEO of the Murray-Darling Basin Commission, Executive officer of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Chief Executive of the National Farmers’ Federation.
  • Professor Andrew Macintosh is an environmental law and policy expert at the ANU College of Law. He is a fellow at the Australian Centre for Environmental Law and member of the ANU Centre for Climate Economics & Policy, ANU Climate Change Institute and ANU Energy Change Institute. He is also the Chair of the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee .