The Albanese Labor Government has indicated it will soon begin consultation on the detail of its new environment laws, two months ahead of schedule.
The upcoming changes to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act have the agriculture industry on edge, fearing more red tape and potential land clearing restrictions.
Minister for the Environment Tanya Plibersek said experts from more than 30 groups, including environment, business, and industry, will have the opportunity to examine the detail "to make sure the laws will be as effective as possible".
"The new laws are complex. The whole package will run to over 1000 pages. This early consultation will help make sure we get the detail right," she said.
The first round of consultation will kick off before the end of October.
National Farmers Federation chief executive officer Tony Mahar said this was the next, long-awaited step in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act reform process.
"And we look forward to seeing further detail," he said.
"This is extremely complex and complicated legislation and we support the Government taking its time to allow industry to understand the proposals and the implications for farmers."
He said farmers were concerned about the EPBC Act because it was not well understood, was difficult to manage at a practical, landscape level, and often conflicted with state legislation.
"We have consistently sought clarity, greater consistency and empathy from the Government on just how difficult it is to manage a farm landscape in the context of constantly changing environmental laws," Mr Mahar said.
"The NFF and our members will closely examine proposals to ensure they are not detrimental to agriculture."
Ms Plibersek said Government officials would be on hand to explain how the proposed changes have been designed to work and how they compared with the existing laws.
She said consultation on drafts of the new laws would occur on a rolling basis throughout the coming weeks and months.
"This will allow us to incorporate feedback we get from experts as we go, so we don't waste a minute," she said.
"We'll keep working with stakeholders to get the laws ready for introduction into the Parliament next year.
"The Albanese Labor Government is getting on with job of fixing Australia's environment laws so they better protect the environment and give faster, clearer decisions for business."
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