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Proxy vote shows Senate for public enforcement of environment law

The Senate has voted down a Turnbull Government motion in support of its bill to limit who can take the government to court when it breaks environment law.

"Thanks to Senator Canavan's motion, we've just had a proxy vote on the standing bill, and we now know it's dead in the water," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.  

"The Senate clearly disagrees with the Turnbull Government's blatant attempt to silence the community for the sake of its big mining buddies.

"It looks like the government will just have to stop breaking environment law if it doesn't want to be taken to court.

"The Australian Conservation Foundation is taking the government to court because it failed in its international responsibility to protect the Great Barrier Reef by approving the Southern Hemisphere's largest coal mine

"But ACF wouldn't have needed to do that if the government had upheld its responsibility and rejected Adani's Carmichael mine.

"I applaud the environment groups, farmers and community organisations, which uphold democracy by enforcing our environment laws when the government breaks them to please its big mining buddies," Senator Waters said.

Contact - Monique Vandeleur 0419 626 725

Text of motion

The Senate:

Notes that:

The importance of a robust and clear legal system that allows for timely judicial review and certainty for investors and the community alike;

Note that the latest legal challenge brought by the Melbourne-based Australian Conservation Foundation to the development of the Galilee Basin is another cynical attempt to abuse due process;

Ongonig green lawfare is holding Queensland families to ransom and jeopardising Australia's reputation as a place to do business; and

Rather than protecting the environment, the replacement of the Galilee Basin's lower-emission coal by higher-emission coal from other countries could instead cause an increase to global emissions.

Calls on:

Labor to support legislative amendments to close legal loopholes being exploited by green groups.

Senator Matt Canavan



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