Advancing a Nature Positive Australia

The Albanese Labor Government is making significant investments to help better protect more of our natural world, fix more of what has been damaged, and care for the places we love.

This Budget locks-in funding to establish Australia’s first national independent Environment Protection Agency, provides a big boost for Australia’s Antarctic research program, and gives extra support for world leading science on climate change and threatened species.

Protecting more of our natural world

After a wasted decade the Liberals and Nationals left the environment, and the institutions that manage it, in a state of disrepair.

We’re working hard to undo that damage by investing around $307 million of nature positive improvements in our laws and institutions, including:

  • $121 million for Australia’s first national independent Environment Protection Agency with strong new powers and penalties to better protect nature.
  • $51.5 million for more accountability and transparency with new body called Environment Information Australia which will give the public and businesses easier access to the latest environmental data, release State of the Environment reports every two years, and report on progress on national environmental goals.
  • $134.2 million to strengthen and streamline environmental approval decisions on priority projects, including renewables and critical minerals projects: 
    • $19.9 million to process assessments for priority renewable energy related projects.
    • $17.7 million to reduce the backlog and support administration of complex applications under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act, and progress the reform of Australia’s cultural heritage laws.
    • $7 million for more support for staff to assess project proposals from business, and more tailored support to help business more effectively comply with environment law.
    • $65.1 million for extra research into threatened species so sensitive areas can be more easily avoided and suitable projects can be more quickly approved based on robust, existing publicly available data.
    • $24.5 million for better planning – working with state and territory governments – in seven priority regions so it’s clearer to business where complying development can more easily occur and where the ‘no go’ areas are.

This Budget provides urgent investment in Australia’s research capabilities to better protect our natural world.

We’ve secured Australia’s position as a global scientific leader by investing $371.1 million over nine years from 2024-25 to rebuild and upgrade our research station on World Heritage listed Macquarie Island. Boosting our capacity to monitor climate and greenhouse gas emissions, and accurately forecast droughts and rainfall, means we will better protect nature and Australian livelihoods.

The Albanese Government is also expanding our Antarctic science program. This includes an additional $17.6 million over two years to enable the Nuyina, Australia’s icebreaking research vessel, to undertake more expeditions for scientific research, including its first dedicated marine science voyage to the Denman Glacier. If this glacier melts, sea levels could rise by 1.5 metres – making this research trip more important than ever.

Fixing more of what’s been damaged

We don’t just want to protect our environment – we are working hard to fix what’s broken.

Last year, the Albanese Government passed critical legislation to set up the world’s first nature repair market – driving business and philanthropic investment in nature repair and threatened species protection. The Budget locks in $35.6 million over two years from 2024-25 to continue developing the processes and systems needed to administer the scheme.

This builds on the Government’s more than $500 million investment to better protect our threatened species, such as koalas, quolls and Australian sea lions, and crack down on feral animals and weeds.

Working hard to care for the places we love

Australians love our bush and our oceans and want to be able to protect them for their kids and grandkids.    

Last year we doubled funding to better look after national parks, including Kakadu and Uluṟu, after the Liberals let them fall apart. This Budget reinforces our extra funding.

But caring for the places we love is not just about nature protection. It also means reducing our environmental footprint and making the most of Australia’s precious natural resources.

That’s why we’re driving Australia’s transition to a circular economy - cutting down on plastics, reducing waste, and supporting households and industry to recycle or repurpose more materials.

In this Budget, we’re investing $23 million in 2024-25 to develop a new national circular economy framework, continue to tackle problematic waste streams, such as packaging, and get on with the development of a much-needed new recycling scheme for solar panels.