Queensland begins consultation on Environmental Protection Agency - RNY News

Queensland begins consultation on Environmental Protection Agency

January 13, 2022

Rachael Ridley

The last remaining state in Australia without an independent environmental regulator has begun the process of establishing its own external Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Queensland Government has begun public consultation on the formation of an EPA to better understand the views and needs of the community and stakeholders about the future of environmental regulation in Queensland. All Queenslanders have an opportunity to have a say about the future of environmental protection in their state.  

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs, Meaghan Scanlon, said in a statement the Department has developed a survey for Queensland residents to gather their views on an environmental protection agency.

“The survey is quick and easy and open to all Queenslanders who have a view on environmental protection. Submissions will be used to inform future decisions around a potential independent EPA,” said Minister Scanlon. 

A community summary publication is also available to help interested Queenslanders understand more about environmental regulation and the role of independence. The survey and summary form part of a broader program of consultation the Department is conducting between November and March. This includes targeted consultation with key Queensland industry, environmental and community stakeholders, as well as research and modelling, and investigations into best-practice approaches both nationally and internationally.

Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the launch of public consultation into the formation of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was an important election commitment.

“We made an election commitment to investigate and consult on the establishment of an independent Environmental Protection Agency to protect our environment, provide greater investment certainty, and support economic recovery,” Minister Scanlon said.

The role of Queensland’s environmental regulator is currently undertaken by the Queensland Government Department of Environment and Science (DES). The main administrative functions of Environmental Protection Agencies include:

  • protecting and enhancing the quality of the environment

  • preventing environmental degradation and risk of harm to human health

  • engaging people in polluting activities to make progressive environmental improvement

  • and integrating environmental, economic and social considerations in decision-making processes.

The survey, which has eight questions and takes around five minutes to complete, will close on the 6th of February 2022. For further information on the proposal for an independent EPA for Queensland, including links to the survey, visit the Queensland Government’s website

Rachael Ridley

Rachael joined Planet Ark in early 2019 after eight years working in media and publishing as a producer, editor and writer. Rachael loves using her skills in content creation and communication to instigate positive environmental behaviour change. Outside of work, Rachael enjoys spending time in nature, listening to music and patting dogs.