Labor Still Tangled In Green Tape

Sep 16, 2020 | State News

Shadow Minister for the Environment Tjorn Sibma says the Labor Government’s mismanagement of the legislative agenda is holding up its own Environmental Protection Act Amendment Bills it introduced way back in June. 

“The State Government has made no progress in cutting green tape in the environment portfolio despite introducing the Environmental Protection Act Amendment Bills in June,” Mr Sibma said. 

“The Liberal Party supports the Government’s modest but sensible plans for improving performance in the environment portfolio through amending legislation, but unfortunately the Bill is making no progress through parliament.” 

The legislation will allow the State Government to enter into bilateral agreements with the Commonwealth Government and permits the creation of environmental protection covenants with landowners. 

“Strangely, the Minister for Environment has been thwarted from prioritising his own Bills for each of the last four parliamentary sitting weeks,” Mr Sibma said. 

“The Labor Government has preferred to burn up valuable time advancing a bill which provided retrospective validation of bureaucratic decision-making during COVID (COVID-19 Response and Economic Recovery Bill 2019); as well as seeking to provide the ALP with political campaign fundraising advantages (Electoral Amendment Bill 2020 – now referred to committee).” 

Mr Sibma urged the government to prioritise the Environmental Protection Act Amendment Bills for parliamentary debate next week. 

“Next week is the last opportunity for the legislation to be dealt with before the Budget is delivered. It is time to get cracking,” Mr Sibma said. 

“The Liberal Party has also moved a range of sensible amendments to the primary Bill which will improve accountability in the system and level the playing field for landowners as they deal with the bureaucracy. 

“The Government should find no trouble supporting these amendments. Irrespective of whether the amendments are adopted, there is no excuse for debate on the Bills to be held up any longer by the Government’s mismanagement of the legislative agenda.”