New CSG water trigger strengthens case to protect federal decision powers
The Places You Love alliance applauds yesterday’s passage of the new water trigger bill through its first and most difficult hurdle claiming it underlines the need to strengthen, not weaken, our national environmental law.
The bill to amend the EPBC Act to include a new water trigger so major coal and CSG developments must be assessed for impacts on water resources by the federal minister was passed unanimously by the Federal parliament’s lower house.
The Alliance also strongly supports additional changes moved by the Labor government, Independents and Greens MP Adam Bandt to make sure these new powers could not be handed to the states under the same threat that we have been fighting since the COAG meeting in April 2012.
This is a great win for the Lock the Gate campaign and the thousands of people who have campaigned for this new EPBC Act trigger.
The water trigger bill presented Minister Burke with the perfect opportunity to Abbott-proof our national environment law and make sure the Federal Government retains its stake in national environment decisions.
The Government’s support for such protections for the new water trigger is a clear acknowledgement that matters of national environmental significance that should never be handed over to the states.
Federal environmental laws have saved iconic places from destruction in the past - and they will be needed again. Just ask people living in the Kimberley or along the Great Barrier Reef.
There is still time for these amendments to be made when the water trigger bill is considered by the Senate in May.