As the floods and fires of the past year have reminded us,
Australia is a harshly beautiful country: one with a rich array of
flora and fauna, but also one in which the forces of nature are not
to be underestimated.
In response to increasing calls for environmental protection,
2010, and indeed the first decade of this new millennium, have
witnessed a growing national approach to environmental regulation.
State, Territory and Commonwealth Governments are moving towards
greater co-ordination and co-operation. Nowhere is this more
notable than in climate change – but it is also occurring
in the traditional environment and planning fields. Does this
represent a shift in power from the States to the Federal
Government? It would appear so, but we wait to see the final
2010 was a turbulent period for environmental legislation and
initiatives at the Commonwealth level. From the announcement that
the Government would delay implementation of the Carbon Pollution
Reduction Scheme (CPRS) until after the conclusion
of the Kyoto Protocol, to Prime Minister Julia Gillard's
post-election establishment of a Multi-Party Climate Change
Committee, climate change swung from being Australia's greatest
moral challenge, to being low on the priority list, to being yet
one more of the many challenges facing the country. The 2009
Montara oil spill led to a Commission of Inquiry, and the
recommendation of dramatic new oil field procedures. And, the
recommendations from the 2009 Hawke review of the Environment
Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC
Act) were initially accepted, then put on hold.
To read the remaining parts of the review, please
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