“It was a fairly atrocious process that, moments before adjournment, they rammed it through,” Walmsley says.
“The gagging of the debate, the fact they prevented voting on amendments and the fact no government MP stood up to justify the policy – it prevented proper parliamentary scrutiny.”
The Climate and Health Alliance, which is a coalition of Australian health organisations, has called on the Senate to block the amendments.
“Australia’s natural environment is declining on every possible measure. We lead the world in animal extinctions,” says the alliance’s executive director, Fiona Armstrong. “There is no economy without a healthy environment.
“The government is trying to rush through amendments to our environmental protection laws that would weaken them in favour of expanding gas and fossil fuel projects that harm the environment and threaten human health.”
The Law Council of Australia has called for the bill to be put before a parliamentary committee for inquiry and not rushed through the Senate.
The government and One Nation have blocked several attempts by the Greens to have a parliamentary committee examine the bill.