EPBC Act Review Update – Final Report (February 2021)

EPBC Act Review Update – Final Report (February 2021)

EPBC Act Review Update – Final Report

February 2021

Thank you again to Citizens’ Climate Lobby Australia’s volunteers and supporters who made a personal submission, contacted their elected officials, and supported our national campaign for the 10 year review of the Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

We joined upwards of 30,000 other organisations and members of the public in making formal submissions.

On behalf of Citizens’ Climate Lobby Australia’s 3,000 plus members nation-wide, we delivered an organisational submission advocating for much needed reform of the Act to address systemic deficiencies and root causes of climate change.

Similarly, CCL also made a formal submission in response to the EPBC Amendment (Climate Trigger) Bill 2020 to call for appropriate amendment of the EPBC Act to include triggers that addresses climate risk.

The Final Report of the Graham Samuel Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) has now been released.

It follows an interim report in June 2020, which stated that the Act is not fit for purpose.

The Final Report delivers a small win for climate change.

Considering the current Act makes no mention or any attempt to deal with the escalating climate crisis, the Final Report indicates a positive shift.

The Final Report recommends a full and transparent emissions profile of all proposed developments and that factors, such as the effectiveness of emissions mitigation measures on matters protected under the Act, be considered.  With multiple references in the context of cumulative impacts and resilience contained in the Final Report, there is potential scope to address cumulative impacts and resilience in some of the regional planning mechanisms, and through the other mechanisms and standards.

The Final Report also presents a big opportunity to continue advocating for sensible reform that preserves the climate for a liveable world.

Last year’s campaign message from Citizens’ Climate Lobby Australia’s National Chair, Rod Mitchell, is strengthened by the findings and recommendations of the Final Report:

“It is vital that our environmental laws are strong enough to protect us from the damage being done by climate change.  [CCL] will continue to build political will for [a stronger EPBC Act] and other climate solutions, particularly carbon pricing.”

This is a once-in-a-decade chance to influence Australia’s signature environmental law.  We can use this opportunity to demonstrate to our elected officials there is sufficient political will to bring climate change to the forefront of our environmental protection laws.

We ask that you contact your Federal Member of Parliament and Federal Senators to ask for their support by enacting the recommendations.  Please refer to our guide for writing or calling your MP and Senators.

Australia is counting on you to ensure we do not have to wait another 10 years for such an important chance.

The full final report is available at epbcactreview.environment.gov.au/resources/final-report.


For the full version of Citizens’ Climate Lobby Australia’s submission, click here.

To read Citizens’ Climate Lobby Australia’s media release (April 2020) on the EPBC Act Review, click here.


Written by Jordan Hodgson—Citizens’ Climate Lobby Australia volunteer in the Federal Electoral Division of Bennelong, on Dharug Country, in the Northern Suburbs of Sydney, NSW.

Jordan Hodgson is a Citizens’ Climate Lobby Australia volunteer and lives on Darug Country, in Northern Sydney, NSW.