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Now more than ever this country needs a strong and independent environmental regulator to turn around Australia’s unacceptable environmental decline, and to hold to account those responsible for the mess including state and territory governments.

Now recently in Federal Parliament I attempted to legislate the strong cop on the beat recommended by Professor Graeme Samuel. But instead the Australian Government pushed ahead with its legislation that will allow the continued destruction of the environment through weak standards and an environmental commissioner with no teeth.

Here in my home state of Tasmania we can easily see why our environment needs much better protection. Indeed the State Government is cheering on a developer who wants to scar the stunning mountain you see behind me with a cable car, the same Government that is privatising our national parks, allowing unrestrained fish farm expansion and throwing out the welcome mat to miners in precious rainforests.

And that must not be tolerated, here or elsewhere, now or ever. So please, please speak up and demand a strong Commonwealth Environment Protection Authority, one that will be a strong cop on the beat, to protect our precious environment and to hold account those who would trash it.