Australia may finally be catching up to global ethical standards as the NSW Green’s introduce a bill to ban the importation and production of animal tested cosmetics nationally.

Senator Lee Rhiannon introduced the End Cruel Cosmetics Bill to the Parliament yesterday afternoon.  She said, “There is a shift around the world and it’s time Australia caught up and that’s what this private members bill gives us an opportunity to do.”

The design of the private members bill was fueled by anti-testing conversations in the European Union, the U.S., India and Israel along with support from the Australian Labor Party.

Senator Rhiannon believes there is no excuse for animal tested cosmetic products. “Already there’s 5000 compounds that have been tested that can be used. There’s a lot of sophisticated measures now that other countries are relying on and finding much more reliable. Just because something doesn’t hurt an animal doesn’t mean that it’s not going to hurt us.”

Mr. Craig Brock of Accord, the national industry association for hygiene, cosmetic and specialty products industry, disagrees. “The industry at the moment is competitive,” he says. “It is highly responsive to its customers, and there’s plenty of choice out there for people who are really looking for companies and products that have strong ethical policies.”

The legislation in Europe makes any Australian law redundant, Mr. Brock said. “We’re just replicating things here with another law that may or may not work – that may be just a waste of time.”

“We think it’s highly questionable whether it’s going to achieve anything…the biggest market in the world is Europe so most of what people want to have happened in this area has already been done.”

Professor Mary Barrett from the school of Management and Marketing at the University of Wollongong said the proposed legislation could be realized with relative ease, but would cause a temporary rise in prices of cosmetics.  “It would be expensive and time consuming finding ingredients from somewhere else and there would be hold ups in supplies which could force prices up,” she said.

Despite the cosmetic industry taking a potential hit, Senator Rhiannon said, “The time has come for this legislation and the best thing would be for the MP’s of the other parties to come on board.”

Story by Lucy Dean.

Next, Kelsey Sutor scans the campus to ask women about whether they know who wore their makeup before they did. 

The Greens Party are pushing for a ban on the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals, known as the “End Cruel Cosmetics Bill”. Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon will introduce the bill to the Senate this week, which could mean the ban of big name companies in Australia.

But how many of us know if our make-up, nail polish and other cosmetics are not tested on animals? In May 2013, Choice made a list of different cosmetic brands and their policies on animal testing. Today, Wollongong students and residents took the test to see if their make-up was free of animal testing and we offer some cruelty-free alternatives in Wollongong.


Joe Smith investigates what the Illawarra Young Greens have to say about the new law and he also checks in Professor Denise Russell as to whether the practice of testing cosmetics using animals is outdated.

Check out which celebrities are supporting the global cause to ban animal testing.

Infographic by Alice Katherine and Angelique Lu.