Australia is a land of incredible landscapes, unique wildlife, ancient forests and beautiful reefs.
But for all our natural beauty, our country holds some infamous global titles.
Australia leads the world on extinction, with the highest number of mammals declared extinct since European settlement.
Logging companies continue to clear our ancient forests, the critical habitat and ecosystems our vanishing species call home. Eastern Australia has once again become a global deforestation hot spot.
The amazing array of life which calls Australia home is under threat. Across the board the indicators for our native biodiversity are declining. Habitat destruction pushes our endangered species closer to extinction each day because our national laws are deeply inadequate to protect them.
Our water tables are being irreparably damaged by poorly regulated resource projects at the same time that our rivers are struggling to sustain the wildlife, farmers and communities that depend on them. Each year, 3,000 Australians die from air pollution.
Embarrassingly, on the global environmental democracy index (which measures transparency, participation and justice in environmental decision-making) Australia ranks thirty-seventh – below Mongolia, Cameroon, Zimbabwe and Russia.
At the heart of these problems are weak and outdated laws for nature.
As a result, polluting companies, loggers, big agribusiness and developers are allowed to destroy our living world, with very little accountability for the damage they do or responsibility to repair it.
It's clear that our environment laws have failed us time and time again. They lock out concerned communities, override international commitments and largely ignore ecological science. Everyday citizens must go through lengthy legal processes just to understand how or why government representatives make decisions. Meanwhile, vested corporate interests deepen ties with our elected representatives via opaque political donations and backroom deals.
We need a new generation of national laws that work to protect and restore our natural environment, strengthen our democracy and support community involvement.
That’s why the Place You Love Alliance, a network of environment groups from across the country, have formed to fight for a new generation of national environment laws.