With Queensland investigating the implementation of a new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Tasmania legislating to finally make their EPA independent and increasing calls for a new national EPA, environmental governance is a hot topic in Australia.  

The Environmental Defenders Office hosted an expert panel on Tuesday, 1 February 2022 to discuss the importance of strong environmental governance in Australia that is grounded in environmental justice and First Nations justice, where we are failing currently in state, territory and national environmental governance and how we can improve.  

We also launched EDO’s new report, Implementing effective independent Environmental Protection Agencies in Australia: Best practice environmental governance for environmental justice, along with a Queensland specific report.

Read the national report here.

Read the Queensland report here.

Watch the webinar:


A number of states and territories are currently looking at changes to their EPAs and environmental departments, including Tasmania and Queensland. Changes to bring in more independence in environmental governance was also a key recommendation of the Samuels review of federal environmental laws. In response to these recent developments, EDO has prepared a report providing key recommendations for what strong, independent EPAs should look like to best protect the environment and human health, particularly for those most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of pollution, environmental degradation, and climate change. EDO has also prepared a sub-report specific to Queensland, to assist with public submissions to the consultation process open now.  

EDO hosted a panel discussion to further explore what strong environmental regulation by EPAs should involve, and why it is necessary to implement EPAs with a grounding in environmental justice and First Nations justice at national, state and territory levels for a healthy environment and healthy communities for all.  


  • Mollie O’Connor – Solicitor at EDO 
  • Chair: Revel Pointon – Managing Lawyer at EDO