Media release – Roger Jaensch, Minister for the Environment, 8 September 2021

A Stronger Environment Protection Authority

The Tasmanian Government has announced the structural and organisational separation of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) from the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water, and Environment (DPIPWE) into a standalone independent State Authority.

The EPA will remain as Tasmania’s independent environmental assessment and regulatory body, but the changes will provide additional clarity on the independent role of the EPA, while also broadening the EPA’s responsibility for environmental assessments in Tasmania. Further, with legislative changes, it is expected that the separation will also increase the integrity of environmental assessments in the future.

The separation will result in the Policy and Government-led functions remaining with DPIPWE, while the EPA retains the statutory assessment and regulation functions – clearly delineating these roles.

Importantly, as part of the reforms and in working to meet recommendation 2 of the PESRAC Final Report, we will be providing additional resources to the EPA.

Legislative amendments to the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 will be required to give effect to the change, and these amendments will be subject to public consultation before being tabled in Parliament.

Mr Wes Ford, current Director of the EPA will remain in the role, with a new position within DPIPWE to be created to manage the non-statutory environmental policy.

The new model is expected to commence as of December 1 this year.

We are proud of the work undertaken by the independent EPA and I look forward to undertaking this significant and important reform.

Media release – Tasmanian Alliance for Marine Protection, 8 Sept 2021

Promise of an independent EPA? “The Height of Cynicism”

Tasmanians were told in the wake of the Macquarie Harbour disaster that a fully independent EPA would regulate the salmon industry properly.

Shortly after followed more sea grabs: Okehampton Bay and Storm Bay.

Through all this the EPA has done the salmon barons’ bidding.

Now the government is recycling the same story in preparation for further sea grabs in the north and east coast and we are being told exactly the same story again: that the EPA is now going to be an independent body.

How can the EPA become independent if it already was independent?

Does the government think Tasmanians are that stupid?

Tasmanians can be confident of only one thing: that the EPA and the Tasmanian government will continue to act as an enabler and supporter of the salmon barons’ greed at the expense of Tasmanians’ lives and the marine environment and our drinking water catchment.

It is the height of cynicism.

Media release – Bob Brown Foundation, 9 September 2021

National Parks should be separate too: BBF

Bob Brown Foundation is calling on the Gutwein government to return the Tasmanian National Parks and Wildlife Service to its former independence as a department. This follows yesterday’s announcement that the Environment Protection Authority is to be separated from Primary Industries.

“Environmentally-oriented National Parks and Wildlife looks after more of the state than any other bureaucracy, especially now it has been given governance of a large slab of former Forestry territory. And the fact that it is currently a subset of the commercially-oriented Tourism, makes for real conflicts of interest,” Bob Brown said today.

“The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, and the suite of other wonderful National Parks, are Tasmania’s future fame and fortune. But they need powerful management to protect the wild and scenic values which justify Tasmania’s world fame for naturalness. This cannot be guaranteed if the National Parks and Wildlife Service is effectively in the hands of vested interests. That is not in the public interest,” Brown said.