Environment back under the Albanese Government

The Australian Government is investing to protect our unique environment, backed by an ambitious reform agenda. We are investing $1.8 billion for the environment

The October budget is a down payment on strong action to protect, restore and manage our natural environment.  

Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek said this Budget will protect our environment and heritage for our children and grandchildren, and for the sake of our planet. 

The Government is investing in a better future for our environment after almost a decade of neglect under the Liberals and Nationals. 

This Budget demonstrates the Australian Government’s commitment to heed the dire warnings clearly laid out in the 2021 State of the Environment Report. We are investing to reform our national environment laws, develop a nature market, and protect 30% of our land and 30% of our ocean by 2030. 

The Australian Government will build on the commitments in this Budget when the response to the Samuel Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 is released later this year. 

Delivering on promises

The Australian Government is delivering on its election promises. The environment is back as a priority with a range of targeted investment to reverse the environmental decline under the previous government. 

This includes:

  • Investing a record $1.2 billion to protect and restore our iconic Great Barrier Reef. 
  • $90.0 million to employ and upskill up to 1,000 Landcare Rangers to help conserve and restore our environment. 
  • An additional $66.5 million to support 10 new Indigenous Protected Areas, bringing us closer to the Government’s commitment to protect and conserve 30% of our land and ocean by 2030. 
  • $14.7 million for the protection of cultural and First Nations heritage sites.
  • $10.8 million to improve ocean and marine park management in Australia and to strengthen our international environmental leadership in ocean related policy.
  • $91.1 million for the first round of our $200 million election promise to improve local waterways through the Urban Rivers and Catchment Program.

Australia is in the midst of an extinction crisis. Recently the Minister launched the Threatened Species Action Plan: Towards Zero Extinctions. The State of the Environment Report identified that we are the mammal extinction capital of the world. The Government is responding with strong actions and targeted spending through the Saving Native Species program. Highlights include:

  • $224.5 million to help threatened species and places, with recovery work prioritised under the Threatened Species Action Plan. This includes emergency interventions for species most at risk and strengthening conservation planning under national environment law.

Saving Native Species includes:

  • $24.5 million additional spending on koala conservation and healthcare.
  • $24.8 million to manage and address the threat of Yellow Crazy Ants in Cairns and Townsville, including the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
  • $9.8 million to control invasive gamba grass from damaging ecosystems and threatened species and prevent the spread into Kakadu National Park.  

The Government is also developing a full response to the Independent Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. In the interim, $117.1 million will ensure assessment and compliance activities continue while broader planning is undertaken to improve the system.

Quote from the Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek:

“This budget sets the environment up for a better future. This is a down payment on strong action.

“The Budget will allow us to get to work on protecting, restoring and better managing our natural environment.

“We don’t have time to waste if we are going to reverse the decline. 

“We recognise that the environment needs a combination of targeted spending and law reform – which this budget delivers on. 

“We are working on significant legislative reform in 2023, which will enable us to better protect, manage and conserve our environment into the future.”