Building a nature positive Australia

The Albanese Labor Government is bringing to life its ambitious nature positive plan.

The 2023-24 Budget will help us protect more of what’s precious, repair more of what’s damaged, and manage nature better for the future.

Protecting more of what’s precious

The Government is rewriting Australia’s old, broken environment laws to better protect our environment and make clearer, faster decisions.

At the heart of this plan is $121 million to establish Environment Protection Australia, to restore trust to a system that badly needs it.

The EPA will be a tough cop on the beat. It will transform our system of environmental approvals. It will be transparent and independent. It will make environmental assessments, decide project approvals and the conditions attached to them, and it will make sure that those conditions are being followed on the ground. 

Managing nature better for the future 

Australia is home to some of the most stunning natural environments in the world. But after a decade of neglect under the Liberals and Nationals, many of these places are now in a state of unacceptable disrepair. This has jeopardised efforts to protect threatened species and conserve native habitats, while undermining tourism opportunities for regional economies.

This Budget provides urgent funding to save some of Australia’s most precious places and those who look after them, including:

  • $262.3 million to support our Commonwealth national parks. This new funding will go into upgrading or replacing outdated infrastructure, ensuring staff can carry out threatened species protection, increasing opportunities for First Nations employment and businesses, and more.
  • $92.8 million for urgent upgrades in the town of Muṯitjulu within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, to provide critical infrastructure like water, sewerage and electricity, and help deliver better health and housing outcomes.
  • $163.4 million to ensure the Australian Institute of Marine Science can continue to provide world-leading scientific marine research and protect our oceans, including the Great Barrier Reef.
  • $45.2 million for the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, to address a critical backlog of repairs. This will address deteriorating wharves and docks, seawall destabilisation, safety concerns like rock falls from cliffs, and other maintenance needed to ensure public safety and avoid permanent loss of heritage value.

We’re investing $236 million to establish a national and reliable flood warning system. The funding will be used to purchase and upgrade gauges, ensuring communities in flood-prone areas can be better prepared and supported.

Repairing more of what’s damaged 

We want to protect our environment from destruction. But our ambition for nature is bigger than that. Just as the Hawke Government established Landcare, we want to restore environments that have been damaged in the past. That’s how we can build a truly nature positive Australia, where we leave our environment in a better state for our kids and grandkids.

This Budget invests in projects that repair nature, including:

  • $439.2 million to support programs that repair World Heritage properties, restore Ramsar wetlands, and conserve threatened species and ecosystems.
  • $118.5 million to help community groups, NGOs, councils, and First Nations groups carry out projects to clean up and restore local urban rivers and waterways. These include activities like planting native species along creeks and building small-scale wetlands to filter pollution and improve water quality.
  • $7.7 million to support landholders to carry out activities that repair nature, by establishing our world leading Nature Repair Market.

Australians want to live in a country that is nature positive – a country that stops environmental decline and repairs nature.

In our first year in office, the Albanese Labor Government has begun to turn the tide of nature destruction.

We’ve set out our plans for new environmental laws. We’ve set a target for zero new extinctions. We’ve committed to protecting 30 per cent of our land and water by 2030. We’ve invested in recycling and the circular economy. And we’ve fought for nature on the world stage.

As at 9 May 2023.