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Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
30 July 2002
There has been a press comment on the Commonwealth’s processes for consulting with landowners in relation to the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act.
There is no change to the legislation and no change to the process of listing species, which only takes into account scientific information.
Before the introduction of the Howard Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity and Biodiversity Act 1999 (EPBC Act) there was no national level of protection for threatened species.
The Government recognises that for these laws to be effective they need to be understood and respected by those who interact with the environment. Farmers and graziers occupy some 70 per cent of this nation’s surface. Uncertainty over the implications of a new listing does not help the species or the landholder.
I have however instituted a much better communication process, which will assist landholders, conservationists and governments in developing the best strategies to manage the protection of listed species.
The EPBC Act relies on land users to identify conservation issues on their land. These consultative processes will help farmers know whether they have a listed species on their land and what are the appropriate actions to take.
If the EPBC Act is to make a meaningful impact on protecting species it is imperative that land users understand and participate in biodiversity protection.
Catherine Job (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400