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TOP Environmental Issues in Australia

The environmental problems are among the major ones discussed by the Australian government. Right now the Australian ecology still suffers from the recent massive bushfires as well as from climate change. What is more, the experts have already noticed the dramatic decline in abundance of the different species and such frightening problems as the freshwater shortage.

This article will provide you with last-minute information about the most important environmental issues in Australia. Also, you’ll discover what consequences and results Australians may face in case they aren’t able to overcome these problems. At the same time, consider that some of the local environmental issues may be not mentioned in this article.

Current Environmental Issues in Australia

The bushfires that swallowed up the whole continent renewed the focus on the major environmental issues in Australia. Nonetheless, the truth is some of them have been on the rise for several years before the tragedy. It’s extremely important to focus on such ecological problems and read about them if we want to stop the environmental changes in Australia.

1. Overfishing

This environmental issue in Australia has already decreased the part of the country’s fish stocks to the critically low level. The intensive fishing activity led by Australian commercial fisheries is the main root of this problem. Also, some fish habitats show the decline of biological productivity. It means that the ecosystem needs more time to replenish.

The overfishing in Australia has already endangered such fish species as bream, common warehou, etc. In addition, the huge threat is the illegal fishing that results in the loss of $11-33 billion annually.

2. Overgrazing

Australian Greenhouse Office prepared a report informing that 13% of the continent’s forests had been cleared for agricultural land since the 18th century. Overgrazing in Australia is one of the key reasons that damage the biodiversity of the country. What is more, overgrazing boosts desertification as well as contributes to the spread of the harmful plants. Additionally, it promotes land pollution in Australia.

There is also another factor that causes the loss of forest cover in Australia. The expansion of urban areas has almost destroyed the littoral rainforest near the coastal areas of the continent. Plus, deforestation is followed by such ecological issues as the salinity of the soil.

3. Biodiversity Loss

In 2019 the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimated the status of biodiversity in Australia as “poor and worsening”.  Besides, the OECD subjected to criticism of the government’s efforts to protect the threatened species. The organization stated that about 81 ecosystems can die in case Australia won’t take more active preventive measures.

Besides, the appearance of new species also affects the biodiversity of the county. The research of the Australian Biosecurity Group has discovered that every year nearly 20 new pests appear on the continent. Sometimes, their activity seriously damages the native ecosystems.

Another serious pressure on the Australia environment is put by weeds. Over a number of years, more than 2,000 species of introduced plants have invaded the continent. Now they are everywhere including coasts, deserts, farmlands, and forests. Also, over 200 species of parasitic plants got into the Australian waters due to ballast water from shipping. 

4. Problems with Sustainable Development

These problems definitely should be placed along with the most important Australia environmental issues. Although some of them may be not obvious right now, they may affect the ecosystems of the continent in the future.

Recently, the OECD has prepared a review focused on the majority of sustainability issues in Australia. Among its warning signs is the fact that the country doesn’t have a long-term strategy to promote sustainable development. It has one of the most carbon-intensive economies in the world, but still Australia doesn’t seem to prepare a long-run plan for lowering emissions.

The organization has also noticed that more and more Australians start using private cars instead of public transport. During the last ten years, the country has been spending more than three-quarters of its transport investment on the construction of new roads. At the same time, the conservation and the threatened species strategies need more funding to thrive.

Despite all these problems, the country’s government still focuses more on the development of infrastructure instead of environmental protection. Australian agricultural, forestry, and mining policies are often at variance with the ecological goals.

5. Water Pollution

This is a worrying environmental problem in Australia. The intensive agricultural policy takes a heavy toll on the coasts and waters of the continent. According to the latest statistics, tones of nitrogen and phosphorous get into the rivers every year.

Also, a lot of nutrients and pesticides, used by local farmers, find their way to the ocean during flooding. They destroy the balance in marine ecosystems and block the sunlight vital for coral reefs and seagrasses. Furthermore, every year hundreds of whales, albatrosses, and turtles die due to the increasing water pollution in Australia.

However, the good news is that such organizations as WWF constantly help the country to solve this environmental issue. For example, they partner with the supermarket giants to improve the recycling of plastic shopping bags and try to reduce their circulation.


The government has to overcome a lot of challenges to solve environmental concerns in Australia. The country should come up with cleaner and greener strategies that will help to develop its economy without causing damage to nature.

Besides, we should remember that every citizen can help to decrease the environmental impact of humanity. Making more conscious choices is the first step to saving our planet. For example, the usage of natural fertilizers instead of chemicals may become a great start for every farmer who wants to improve Australia state of the environment.

About author
Kate MacMillan
Job description
Kate is an environmental consultant specializing on green technologies and nature preservation techniques. She has more than 3 years of experience and worked with several non-profit organizations to save our nature from disruptive influence of people.
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