Review of the EPBC Act

The statutory review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) commenced on 29 October 2019. The EPBC Act promotes the ecologically sustainable use of natural resources, and provides a regulatory framework to manage and protect matters of national environmental significance.

 

Professor Graeme Samuel AC has been appointed as the independent reviewer. Over the next 12 months, the review will look at how the EPBC Act has been operating, and any changes needed for Australia to support ecologically sustainable development into the future.

 

The Department has prepared a discussion paper as the first step in consultation for the review.  The discussion paper identifies some of the long-term pressures on Australia’s environment and known concerns with the operation of the legislation, especially with its regulatory processes. 

 

The review will make recommendations to modernise the EPBC Act and its operation to address current and future environmental challenges, including consideration of:

       1.    The objects in section 3(1)(a)-(g) of the Act

        2.    Australia’s international environmental responsibilities

        3.    Indigenous peoples' knowledge and role in the management of the environment and heritage

        4.    implementation of relevant agreements between the Commonwealth, states and territories

        5.    other legislation that may relate to the operation of the Act

        6.    recommendations of previous reviews and inquiries and significant publications regarding the                 operation of the Act and potential reform

        7.    broad consultation, including with state, territory and other levels of government, non-                             government organisations, Indigenous peoples, members of the community, industry and                       academia, and

       8.    costs and benefits of recommendations.

 

Green Tape Solutions is actively participating to the review of the guidance material. We will comment on the material's usability and ensure that the guidance material provide more consistency and scientific certainty with offset proposals/approvals. 

  

We will also provide a submission. Submissions on the discussion paper are due by 5pm (AEDST) Friday, 17 April 2020. Submissions can be lodge to the Commonwealth Department at 

 https://epbcactreview.environment.gov.au/get-involved#make-a-submission

  

By Kelly Matthews

Director - Green Tape Solutions