Calls from Tasmania's Environmental Defenders Office for more time to assess "wide-ranging" environmental law changes have been shot down by the state government, after public consultation opened on Friday.
The community legal centre says as the only organisation equipped to make sense of the amendments - spanning three separate acts - it should have been consulted earlier and now has only 30 days to understand the 99-page document and develop a written submission.
Among the changes are a strengthening of Environmental Protection Authority monitoring data transparency and harsher penalties for some activities conducted without the regulator's approval.
In a statement announcing the draft Environmental Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill on Thursday, Environment Minister Peter Gutwein described it as a "range of proposed improvements" for the state's laws.
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But EDO chief executive and principal lawyer Nicole Sommer said with alterations to public participation in regulatory policy changes, when some environmental notices can be issued, biosolids regulation and marine farming, the bill was "so complex".
"A bill like this will have taken months in development," she said. "There would have been time to consult us before now."
"Where there are improvements we would of course welcome them, but how would anyone know?"
After contacting the EPA last week asking for an extension to the feedback period, Ms Sommer was told this was not an option as the government "wants it introduced to parliament".
The state government has indicated it would like this to occur within months, but says it is committed to improving Tasmania's environmental legislation.
"The consultation period is an appropriate amount of time for feedback to be provided and we encourage people to make submissions on the bill which is scheduled to be introduced to parliament later this year," a spokesperson said in response to questions.
The spokesperson did not elaborate on whether other groups had been consulted prior to the bill's release.
Submissions will be accepted on the draft bill until October 4. The submission window for the state's draft waste plan, announced on June 29, will remain open until October 7.
Ms Sommer expects the work required to provide feedback will now "divert resources" from those in the state seeking help on from the organisation on environment and planning law issues.
In June, she added her voice to a chorus of other Tasmanian lawyers speaking out about the current funding levels for legal assistance services in the state.
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