What We're Doing

Following a decade of neglect, the Albanese Government is acting. Our policies will restore our environmental protection laws, repair what’s been damaged and institute better management for the future. We have a clear path to becoming a nature positive economy and net zero by 2050

Australia’s Strategy for Nature 2019–2030

We are working with all states and territories to update Australia’s Strategy for Nature 2019-2030. This update will set ambitious national targets and demonstrate how Australia will contribute to the goals of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

On 10 November 2023, Australia’s environment ministers agreed on 6 priority areas for national targets under the strategy. These are:

  • protecting and conserving 30% of Australia’s land and 30% of Australia’s oceans by 2030
  • working towards zero new extinctions
  • effective restoration of degraded terrestrial, inland water, marine and coastal ecosystems
  • tackling the impact of invasive feral species
  • building a circular economy and reducing the impact of plastics on nature
  • minimising the impact of climate change on nature.

Ministers also agreed on 3 elements that will be essential to achieving the national targets. These are:

  • ensuring environmental data and information is widely accessible and supports planning.
  • incorporating nature into government and business decision-making. This includes financing, policy reform, regulation and planning.
  • ensuring equal representation in decisions relating to nature, particularly for First Nations people.



Labor knows Australia's environment laws are broken. Nature is being destroyed and businesses are waiting too long for decisions. Things must change. 

  • In response to Professor Graeme Samuel’s Independent Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity (EPBA) Act, we have released package of reforms. These new laws have been developed in collaboration with business and community stakeholders and will strengthen our environmental laws. The centrepiece of our reforms is the legislation of National Environmental Standards to improve environmental protections and guide decision-making. Learn more about how we’re implementing National Environmental Standards here.
  • At the heart of our Nature Positive Plan is a $121 million investment to establish Environment Protection Australia (EPA), a transparent and independent body that will restore trust to our system of environmental approvals. EPA will make environmental assessments, oversee the approval of projects and their attached conditions and ensure accountability for them on the ground. It will be resourced and empowered to ensure compliance with the new Act.
  • We are also establishing Environment Information Australia (EIA), a body to improve the quality, integration and accessibility of environmental data and information held by governments, the private sector, researchers and scientists. EIA will be established as an independent statutory position with clear legislative responsibilities to oversee environmental reporting, deliver environmental economic reports and provide assurance that our laws are delivering positive environmental outcomes.
  • For the first time in Australian history, the development of a new coal mine in Central Queensland has been blocked under national environment laws, as it posed severe risks to the Great barrier Reef, freshwater creeks, and groundwater.


Global leadership

  • We led the way at COP15, the United Nations Biodiversity Conference, and fought fiercely for ambitious global biodiversity agreements. This included the creation of the High Ambition coalition (HAC) for Nature and People, which includes a goal to protect 30% of the world’s land and 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030.
  • We have signed the Leader’s Pledge for Nature, the Joint Declaration on the creation of a Global Coalition for Blue Carbon, and the Forests and Climate Leaders Partnership.
  • We joined the High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution by 2040, signalling our strong ambition to end plastic pollution under this new plastics pollution treaty. We recently defended this commitment in Paris, participating in critical talks to prevent the treaty from becoming watered down and unenforceable.
  • The Closing the Hole in the Ozone Layer legislation will ensure we contribute to global efforts to close the hole in the ozone layer as part of the Montreal Protocol championed by the Hawke government. It will also help us meet out ambitious emissions reduction targets, as part of the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Program.
  • Australia was a leader in making sure the UN Treaty of the High Seas was signed.



  • We have announced plans to triple the size of the Macquarie Island Marine Park, which will make our marine parks almost 50% of all Australian oceans.
  • We have announced $262.3 million to support our Commonwealth national parks, as well as $92.8 million for urgent upgrades in the town of Mutijulu within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to provide critical infrastructure.
  • We’re investing $10.8 million to improve ocean and marine park management.
  • We’re expanding our blue carbon projects – to restore mangroves, seagrass and reef habitats for breastfeeding and feeding.
  • We’re releasing $3.5 million to help protect the Great Barrier Reef from marine debris.
  • We’re dedicating $20 million to assist corals to evolve and support natural restoration of damaged reefs, including transplanting coral to help damaged reefs regrow.
  • We’re supporting bushfire affected species through a $200 million recovery package.
  • We're investing over $76 million through the Saving Koalas Fundfor the conservation of koalas. This includes $10 million to help community groups rebuild koala habitat.
  • We’re safeguarding our native flora, with the Strategy for the Australian Native Seed Sectorlaunched at the Australian National Botanic Gardens last year.
  • We launched the Threatened Species Action Plan: Toward Zero Extinctions. This will set out a pathway for the conservation of threatened species, and their recovery over the next decade. Within this, we are spending $224.5 million on the Saving Native Species program to boost outcomes for our threatened native animals and plants. This includes $24.7 million to eradicate gamba grass in the Kakadu National Park, and $24.8 million to control Yellow Crazy Ants.
  • We joined the International Mangrove Alliance for Climatein November 2022, which aims to increase the global area of mangrove habitat by 20% by the year 2030 to help combat climate change and support adaptation. 
  • We will endeavour to conserve the Great Barrier Reef- investing a record $1.2 billion in its preservation and protection. Indigenous rangers will play a lead role in reef preservation, with the Albanese government ensuring at least $100 million of protection and restoration work to Indigenous ranger organisations by the end of the decade. 
  • We have commissioned the Reef 2050 Plan Independent Expert Panel, chaired by Professor Ian Chubb, to provide high-level advice to better inform policy, management and investment decisions. A landmark draft decision by UNESCO to not list the Reef ‘in danger’ was released on 1 August 2023. This draft decision recognises the significant progress that has been made in putting the Reef on a stronger and more sustainable path, as well as the fundamental transformation of Australia’s environmental policies under Labor.


Land and water

  • We’re delivering a $14.8 million package to protect our marine habitats and wildlife. This includes $400,000 for the removal of ghost nets from Australian waters. Ghost nets are lost or abandoned fishing gear drift and become a danger to turtles, dolphins, sharks, seals and other fish.
  • We’re investing $236 million to establish a national and reliable flood warning system.
  • We’re providing $439.2 million to support programs that repair World Heritage properties, restore Ramsar wetlands and conserve threatened species and ecosystems.
  • The 2023-24 budget includes $118.5 million to help community groups, NGOs, councils, and First Nations groups to restore urban rivers and waterways.  
  • We’ve announced $7.7 million to support landholders to carry out activities that repair nature. This will establish a world leading Nature Repair Market.
  • Of the $200 million Urban Rivers and Catchments Program, we will allocate $1 million to support the City of Stonnington’s work to regenerate the KooyongKoot, which flows into the Yarra River. This new wetland in Tooronga Park will improve the quality of water runoff into the Kooyongkoot and assist with flood mitigation.
  • We are committed to delivering the Murray Darling Basin Plan in full. This sets the amount of water that can be taken from the Basin each year, leaving enough for our rivers, lakes and wetlands and the plants and animals that depend on them.The Restoring Our Rivers Bill 2023 has now passed Parliament which promises to deliver an additional 450GL of environmental water.
  • We have redefined the National Water Grid Fund’s investment framework – aiming to improve water security while being economically and environmentally sustainable. This will ensure we can secure drinking water for the towns that need it most.
  • We’re investing $91.1 million to clean up local waterways and support the native animals and plants that rely on them. This includes projects like converting concrete drains into natural, vegetated creeks, installing fish ‘ladders’ to support native fish and animal movements, increasing vegetation and installing litter traps to prevent plastic from impacting aquatic and marine life.
  • We’ve redefined the Water Grid’s investment framework – which will ensure we can invest to deliver secure drinking water for the people that need it most.
  • More than $30 million has now been invested to boost Western Australia’s recycling and waste infrastructure as part of a joint funding scheme by Australian and Western Australian Labor Governments. 
  • The Federal and New South Wales Labor Governments are investing $6 million to investigate water recycling in Tamworth to boost long-term water security. 
  • $25 million to be invested to encourage private and philanthropic investment projects to better protect Australian fauna and flora.  
  • $88.2 million Mount Morgan pipeline project has commenced with Albanese Government support. The Albanese Government has confirmed an additional commitment of $26.5 million to progress the project. This adds to our election commitment of $3.5 million to support planning and investigation work. 
  • $33.5 million dollar investment in effective water delivery in Deniliquin. The implications of such funding will allow water to be better targeted and distributed to restore local creeks and wetlands – better mimicking the natural flow of water.  


Research and innovation

  • We are providing $163.4 million to the Australian Institute of Marine Science to continue world-leading scientific marine research.
  • In July 2022, we published the State of the Environment Report, which was given to the previous government but hidden due to its shocking findings.
  • We introduced the Soft Landing mattress recycling and collection scheme, which assists residents and businesses in VIC, the ACT, NSW and WA recycle mattresses. For a fee, you can drop off your mattress at a recycling facility or pay an additional fee to have your mattress picked up.
  • We created the Circular Economy Ministerial Advisory Group to guide our nation’s transition to a more circular economy by 2030.  
  • We’re investing $250 million in building and upgrading recycling infrastructure. This includes $60 million for hard-to-recycle plastics like soft plastics.
  • We are working with industry to build a circular economy - ensuring the full lifecycle of a product is sustainable, including development, manufacturing, distribution, use, reuse, and disposal.
  • All state and territory environment ministers have agreed to reform the regulation of packaging by 2025, to ensure that all packaging in Australia is designed to be recovered, reused, recycled and reprocessed.
  • We’re investing $67 million for projects to convert food and garden waste that ends up in landfill into high quality compost.
  • We’re investing in low emission and clean energy recycling technologies with $3 billion in our National Reconstruction Fund and $100 million for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
  • We established the Antarctic krill aquarium research facility that will be built in Hobart.
  • We’re providing extra support for marine scientists to strengthen their reputation as the best coral reef managers in the world.
  • New $137 million facility to be built which will transform Queensland’s paper-recycling industry. The facility will be used to turn 220,000 tonnes of wastepaper and cardboard from across Queensland and northern New South Wales into pulp annually for export.  


First Nations first

  • First Nations Australians managed this country for 65,000 years, they are the world’s most successful environmental custodians. We must protect and utilise their knowledge.
  • We are doubling the number of Indigenous Rangers to 3,800 by the end of the decade and delivering $40 million for a First Nations water program in the Murray-Darling Basin.
  • We have invested $231.5 million to expand and improve the Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) program over the next five years. This includes $14.5 million to establish 10 new IPAs. IPAs now cover 87 million hectares of land and over 5 million hectares of sea country. The 10 new IPAs will contribute to our commitment to protect 30 percent of land and seas by 2030, and will also help deliver on the Closing the Gap Implementation Plan, enabling First Nations People to maintain their physical and spiritual connection to Country.
  • We’ve declared new Indigenous Protected Areas including the Martu Area in Western Australia and Crocodile Islands Indigenous Area in the Northern Territory.
  • We’ve signed a partnership with the First Nations Heritage Protection Alliance to work together to write new cultural heritage protection legislation.
  • We’re investing $150 million for First Nations water infrastructure to provide safe and reliable water for remote and regional Indigenous communities.


“Within the seams of the bedrock of our ancient land, like precious ores, lie new ways of thinking. The One Health model encompassing human, animal and environmental health immediately elevates stewardship. Our First Nations have known this all along. We cannot privilege one above the other, because we are nourished both physically and spiritually by the natural world.” - Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah MP, Maiden Speech, 1 August 2022