Greens spokesperson for Healthy Oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson has labelled the NSW Government’s rationale in requesting the Federal Government use emergency provisions to dodge environmental impact assessments as ludicrous. The NSW Government has given notice to the Federal Environment Minister saying he should use his emergency powers stating that media reports of shark interactions are likely to impact on “jobs and growth”.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “The EPBC emergency powers are granted to the Minister to provide temporary exemptions for environmental approvals in the case of war or devastating bushfires, not because of bad headlines.
“If the Environment Minister accepts this spurious premise from the NSW Government then he will turn a legal loophole into a chasm, rendering the entire EPBC Act ineffective.
“Josh Frydenberg needs to ensure that the NSW Government provides a full proposal for the installation of mesh-nets along the NSW coast, and he then needs to undertake a full assessment of the environmental impacts.
“Shark mesh nets will not make swimmers and surfers safe, but they will indiscriminately endanger wildlife like turtles, whales and dolphins.
“Shark nets are a political solution to a public concern, but they aren’t a genuine solution. The Environment Minister must ensure he doesn’t set a precedent that weakens the EPBC Act,” he concluded.