Greenies back Labor plan to overhaul enviro law

A TOP green group has backed Labor's plan to restore the federal approvals process and overhaul national environmental laws.

Opposition environment spokesman Mark Butler yesterday released the party's plan to return the approvals process to the federal government.

Labor would also consider creating an independent body similar to state-based environmental protection agencies and giving $10 million to environmental defender offices.

While WWF Australia has backed the policy as a "critical step" towards overhauling the 17-year-old laws, the Greens have urged the Opposition to go further and commit to a national EPA.

Mr Butler said the party's plans were a "stark contrast" to the Coalition's policies, which had cut funding to EDOs, moved responsibility for approvals to state governments and threatened to remove key legal appeals from environmental laws.

The Coalition has pledged $1 billion to provide loans to Queensland farmers to improve their environmental credentials, but is yet to release an overall environment policy.


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