At the inaugural Queensland Environment Symposium in December 2022, NQCC Coordinator Crystal Falknau presented a three-minute pitch about the collaborative campaign for an independent EPA for Queensland to environmental leaders from across the state.
Below is the pitch in full:
We’re all here today because Queensland’s environment is in crisis. A crisis of this scale doesn’t happen by accident. It’s what happens when our environmental laws are weak and easily exploited, allowing big money and dirty politics to influence decisions that affect nature and climate. It’s what happens when there is no government body powerful enough to actually stand up for nature when it counts.
We are seeing this play out all over Queensland. Right now, we have coal mines threatening groundwater, habitat and our climate, from the Bowen Basin to the Darling Downs. Vital habitat is being cleared from the Brigalow Belt to the Wet Tropics. Right now, the internationally important Moreton Bay Ramsar site is being threatened by development in Toondah Harbour. Shale Fracking is still on the cards for the floodplains of our beautiful Channel Country.
The Queensland conservation movement has been fighting hard against threats like these, but every day, our work is compromised by the lack of an environmental regulator with teeth. Our nature laws have become so ineffectual that polluters, developers and the big end of town are able to dictate the rules of play. How do we expect to reverse the crisis we’re in if this is the status quo?
The State Government has committed to investigating an Environmental Protection Agency for Queensland. This is our opportunity to change the rules. Queensland deserves an EPA that is well-resourced, powerful and independent. We need an EPA that is designed to do what it is meant to do – to protect nature. To stop pollution. To stop habitat destruction. To stop letting the wrong people dictate the rules, so that we can start to reverse this crisis.
While getting all of that may seem daunting, together, we represent hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders who want to see nature thrive. Together, we are powerful. Together, we can change the rules.
Our stories, from our lived experiences on the ground, paint a powerful picture of everything that’s wrong with Queensland’s nature laws, and why business as usual won’t get us out of this mess. Our collaborative campaign aims to bring stories together from all over Queensland and lift them up, so that our decision-makers hear our message loud and clear. Right now, we have an opportunity to demonstrate our power and make a real difference for those who come after us.
Queensland’s environment is in crisis, and we know why. If you think it’s time we changed the rules, join our campaign for a powerful EPA for Queensland.