Right to a Healthy Environment

The ACT Government is considering the introduction of a right to a healthy environment in the Human Rights Act 2004.

Thursday 30 June 2022

The Parliamentary and Government Agreement for the 10th Legislative Assembly commits to consider the introduction of a right to a healthy environment in the Human Rights Act 2004.

A proposal to include a right to a healthy environment as a human right for Canberrans is the focus of an ACT Government discussion paper released for community input.

On 30 June 2022, Minister for Human Rights Tara Cheyne released the Discussion Paper to support the community conversation on the inclusion of the right to a healthy environment in the Human Rights Act 2004.  

“The ACT led Australia when it became the first jurisdiction to enshrine human rights in law and it is fitting that we are the first jurisdiction to explore the inclusion of the right to a healthy environment in our Human Rights Act.”

The Discussion Paper seeks community views on how a right to a healthy environment could be included in the Human Rights Act 2004 and what the content of the right could be. The Discussion Paper can be found on at the end of this page.

Submissions and an online survey on the Discussion Paper - Right to a Healthy Environment are open until 31 August 2022. You can make a submission or complete the survey through the Government's YourSay page here. 

Frequently asked questions can be found on the YourSay page here

The community consultation will be supported by an online panel discussion to examine the intersection of the environment and human rights and discuss why the right to a healthy environment should be recognised in the Human Rights Act 2004. The event on 30 June 2022 will be recorded and be available on this page for viewing.

The community feedback will guide the ACT Government's consideration of amending the Human Rights Act 2004 to recognise a right to a healthy environment.