Environmental laws for today, not tomorrow

Which nations are passing laws caring about the future we are leaving to the children?

Two ‘gas giants’ –  Jupiter in our solar system

And this ‘gas’ giant – Scarborough Project

Off the NW coast of Western Australia.

Who cares about the oceans?

No current worthwhile legislation here.

The Science Show

with Robyn Williams

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation – national and publicly owned since 1932, celebrating 90 years of wonderful service to Australia.


Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.


7m 43s


Frances Flanagan presents the Hancock Lecture at the State Library of NSW 31st May 2022. (Joseph Mayers)

Download Environmental laws for today, not tomorrow (10.60 MB)

Download 10.60 MB

In her Hancock Lecture for the Australian Academy of the Humanities, Frances Flanagan argues our environmental laws, in particular those comprising The Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) are written with a view too narrow. This was illustrated in 2021 when a class action by children and others seeking a duty of care owed to them by the Minister for the Environment when making approvals under the EPBC Act was lost.

Woodside’s Jupiter – now Scarborough – project off the west Australian coast was originally called Jupiter for a reason. Like the planet, it is a gas giant. A methane gas giant. Gas will be extracted until 2059, releasing carbon dioxide as it is burnt, adding to the quiet catastrophe. Frances Flanagan says current laws don’t consider the dwellings of millions of people which will be inundated as sea levels rise on a warming Earth. She presents a compelling case for present laws to be widened to protect future generations.

We have just seen the impact of flooding in Bangla Desh and southern India and felt its effect on the people of the Northern Rivers of Southern Queensland and New South Wales.

Australian Academy of the Humanities – Hancock Lectures

Frances Flanagan
Lecturer in Work and Organisational Studies
The University of Sydney

Robyn Williams

David Fisher

Duration: 7min 43sec

Broadcast: Sat 18 Jun 2022, 12:04pm

And on our public ABC Channel 2, on Tuesday June 21st 2022 we saw  Southern Ocean Alive! The world beneath the waves. Such a vital world with so much life.

And dying – the sea kelp forests off the east coast of Tasmania



Possibly a red kelp that can survive the warming of the East Coast current of Australia is being tested in laboratories. Maybe the life-giving properties of kelp can be brought back but there will need to be environmental protection to help the process.

Miners of oil and LNG on our lands and in our oceans care nothing about the nation’s or the planet’s bio-diversity.

These exploiters of fossil fuels do not want to see legislation in place for tomorrow.

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