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New report says state environment approvals would weaken nature protection

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Relinquishing federal responsibility for environmental approvals and handing powers to the states and territories would substantially weaken nature protection in Australia, a new report shows.  The Morrison government is preparing to wash its hands of its duties to assess major projects on environmental grounds, claiming unpopular changes to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act are ‘minor technical amendments’.  But measured against 13 core elements of the EPBC Act, no state’s laws matched more than two existing federal requirements, the Places You Love Alliance audit found.  The report catalogues 30 case studies where state and territory laws have failed national benchmarks. “While…

Increased police powers must not be free kick for discrimination

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In response to Premier Andrew’s declaration of a state of disaster in Victoria, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, legal and human rights organisations are calling for strong safeguards to ensure that police powers are exercised fairly and proportionately during the public health crisis. The declaration of a state of disaster has granted significant powers directly to the Minister for Police to direct and coordinate a range of activities considered “necessary or desirable for responding to the disaster”. It gives the Minister for Police wide-reaching powers to regulate government activities and resources, as well as the power to suspend any law…

Why do we still use shark nets in Australia?

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Shark nets are not fit-for-purpose. They do not protect swimmers and kill hundreds of other marine animals, including threatened species. So why do we still deploy them in Australia, and what other technologies should we be using instead? Sarah Jacob asks the Australian Marine Conservation Society’s shark scientist, Leonardo Guida.…

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