Labor’s pledge to overhaul environmental law is a chance for much needed reform, says the Australian Marine Conservation Society.

A Labor election commitment to reshape and strengthen Australia’s environmental laws is a chance to replace outdated and inadequate laws with legislation that Australia’s rich and unique wildlife deserves, says the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).

Responding to Labor’s policy announcement, Darren Kindleysides, CEO of AMCS, said: “Australia’s environmental legislation is desperate for an overhaul.

“We welcome this commitment to introduce a new Australian Environment Act and create a federal Environment Protection Agency – this is a chance for much needed reform at a time when our ocean wildlife is facing threats greater than ever before.

“Our wildlife needs a strong and independent agency a new suite of modern and fit-for-purpose environmental laws and stronger involvement of the community in environmental decision making.

“Labor’s pledge to put $62million into a plan to help coastlines and beaches adapt to impacts from climate change is also a welcome detail – sea level rise and increasing extreme weather events are putting pressure on our coasts and marine wildlife.”

Kindleysides said: “Labor’s $100m to protect threatened native species is much needed through greater investment is essential if we are to avert the crisis facing our natural world. The next Australian government must make sure our threatened marine life are better protected, such as Australia’s unique but vulnerable snubfin dolphins that are being caught and killed in industrial-sized gillnets.”

AMCS is asking all parties for policies and funding commitments that will deliver “cooler and cleaner oceans” and the group will publicly release an election scorecard next week to help inform voters ahead of the election.

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