Federal plans to pass new legislation to establish new national environmental standards were in danger of being rushed through parliament, the ACT government has warned.
In a submission to a Senate inquiry on the new standards, ACT Environment Minister Rebecca Vassarotti said further talks on the measures were needed between jurisdictions, before they were enacted.
"It would be premature for the parliament to pass this legislation without a detailed consideration by all states and territories to evaluate their ability to meet the interim national environmental standards," Ms Vassarotti said in the submission.
"Further discussions between governments will be needed to confirm the process used by the Commonwealth to assess consistency of state and territory approval decisions."
The national standards would aim to transfer decision-making powers on environmental matters from the Commonwealth to the state and territories.
The measures come in the wake of a landmark review of Australian environmental laws carried out by Graeme Samuel, released earlier this year, which made 38 recommendations.
The review found the current federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act was not fit to address the rising threats to Australian wildlife.
Ms Vassarotti said the proposed national standards did not match up with measures proposed in the Samuel review.
"An overarching concern that I have is that this legislation comes forward to the parliament in an absence of a timetable and pathway for reform consistent with the reform pathway recommended by Professor Samuel in his review of the EPBC Act," she said.
"The federal government can't cherry pick from the suite of recommendations. The federal government should respond to all 38 recommendations of the Samuel report prior to progressing the legislation.
"There is not yet a confirmed process, nor timeframe, for finalising the national environmental standards and it is unclear whether the version of the [standards], including all components recommended in the Samuel report, will be implemented."
The ACT government said in its submission that further consideration was needed on how the new standards would impact on National Heritage listings, in particular the proposed listing of Canberra as a planned national capital.
Ms Vassarotti said further clarity was needed of what the legal responsibilities were for governments to achieve outcomes under the new act.
She also said process should be in place should the territory wish to withdraw from the agreements.
"Appropriate and timely processes and clauses in any proposed bilateral agreement will be required to enable withdrawal by the ACT government, should there be concerns," she said.
Potential concerns included the effectiveness of the changes, how they were implemented, or the government's capacity to deliver the new standards effectively.
The senate committee's findings on the legislation are set to be handed down in June.
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