Humane Society International (HSI) has responded to reports that the states are getting closer to a ‘one-stop-shop’ agreement with the Commonwealth, and slammed discussions about green tape as completely misunderstanding the issue.
‘It has been clear for some time that state governments are willing to do anything to make it easier for development, with no regard to the value our threatened places and wildlife provide,’ said HSI’s senior program manager Alexia Wellbelove.
‘Comments by NSW’s premier further illustrate the complete lack of understanding of the important role species, such as the grey-headed flying-fox and koalas, play in NSW’s environment. This shows just how far states are willing to go to ride roughshod over our laws.’
HSI believes that the federal government’s proposals to create a ‘one-stop-shop’ risk taking Australia back decades in its efforts to conserve threatened native wildlife and places. It believes the focus should be on how better efficiencies in the assessment of projects could be delivered, while retaining the leadership role of the Commonwealth government approving projects.
Ms Wellbelove said, ‘HSI is calling on the new Federal Environment Minister to publish the standards against which a “one-stop-shop” for environmental approvals will be delivered. Given the huge amount of community concern with this proposal, it is essential that discussions with the states be delayed and a methodical review undertaken of the impacts of the Commonwealth abdicating its essential leadership role.
‘Australia is currently experiencing a biodiversity crisis, and our best scientists have determined that a number of our species require further protection under either Commonwealth or state threatened species laws. It is essential that any developments that impact on these species are thoroughly considered in the appropriate manner, and not simply designated as “green tape”, or else we risk Australia simply contributing to the extinction of our threatened native species.’