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EPBC Act

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Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) is the Australian Government’s central piece of environmental legislation. It provides a legal framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places — defined in the EPBC Act as matters of national environmental significance. More about the EPBC Act

Environmental Impact Assessment Client Service Charter

The Environmental Impact Assessment Client Service Charter (the charter) outlines the department's commitments when undertaking Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

2013 Proposed EPBC Act amendment – Water trigger

The Australian Government is introducing an amendment to Australia's national environment law to provide that water resources are a matter of national environmental significance, in relation to coal seam gas and large coal mining development.

Reform of the EPBC Act

The Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities has released the Australian Government response to the independent review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 as part of a broad package of reforms for Australia's national environment law.

Release of Draft Framework of Standards for Accreditation

The Australian Government today released the draft Framework of Standards for Accreditation under the national environment law. The draft framework of environmental standards underpins the Australian Government’s approach to the environmental reform process and has been released so feedback can be obtained from stakeholders ahead of their finalisation.

Monsoon vine thickets on the coastal sand dunes of Dampier Peninsula

New ecological community listing.

Western Sydney Dry Rainforest and Moist Woodland on Shale

New ecological community listing.

Lowland Grassy Woodland in the South East Corner Bioregion

New ecological community listing.

New Strategic Assessments: Policy Statement for EPBC Act referrals

The policy sets out the department's approach to project referrals where a relevant strategic assessment is underway or completed.

New EPBC Act environmental offsets policy

As part of the National Environment Law Reform agenda, this policy provides upfront guidance on the role of offsets in environmental impact assessments under the EPBC Act, and how the department considers the suitability of a proposed offset.

Nationally threatened grassland ecological communities: Natural Grassland on Basalt and Fine-textured Alluvial Plains of Northern NSW and Southern QLD and Natural Grassland of the Queensland Central Highlands and Northern Fitzroy Basin.

This booklet is designed to assist land managers, owners and occupiers as well as environmental assessment officers, consultants and the general public to identify, assess and manage the Natural Grasslands on Basalt and Fine-textured Alluvial Plains of Northern New South Wales and Southern Queensland and the Natural Grasslands of the Queensland Central Highlands and the Northern Fitzroy Basin.

Man convicted for illegally smuggling skinks

A 36 year old Japanese national male has been fined $3000 and sentenced to six months imprisonment after attempting to illegally export nine shingleback skinks from Perth to Japan late last year.

Farming and nationally protected Natural Grasslands of the Murray Valley Plains - Fact sheet

Since European settlement, most of the Natural Grasslands of the Murray Valley Plains have been cleared, invaded by weeds, or otherwise degraded such that few remnants remain in good condition. Those that remain in good condition are protected under Australia's national environmental law, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), as a critically endangered ecological community on 8 September 2012.

Landholders & Upland Basalt Eucalypt Forests - Fact sheet

Since European settlement, a large amount of the Upland Basalt Eucalypt Forests in the Sydney Basin Bioregion ecological community has been threatened or degraded by clearing, fragmentation, grazing and weed incursion. The patches that remain in good condition are now protected under Australia's national environment law, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), as an endangered ecological community.

Strategic assessment of BHP Billiton iron ore expansion for the Pilbara

Public comments from interested parties are invited on the draft terms of reference for the preparation of a report on the impacts of actions on matters of national environmental significance.

Latest Communities for communities newsletter

Communities for communities is a newsletter which will help keep you informed about threatened ecological communities nominated for listing under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) and related information available on the department's web site. In this issue: five new threatened ecological communities listed under the EPBC Act, five new threatened species listed under national environment law - four upgraded, and more...

NSW developers to pay more than $380 000 for illegal land clearing

Property developers in western Sydney's Eastern Creek and in Tamworth have agreed to pay $200,000 and $184,000 respectively in 'enforceable undertakings' for illegal land clearing.

Australian Government Response to the Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee Report

The Minister has tabled the Australian Government Response to the Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee Report: Operations of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (First, Second and Final Reports).

Grey Box (Eucalyptus microcarpa) Grassy Woodlands and Derived Native Grasslands of South-Eastern Australia

This publication is designed to assist land managers, owners and occupiers as well as environmental assessment officers, consultants and the general public to identify, assess and manage this nationally threatened ecological community. This ecological community was listed as endangered in March 2010, under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Melbourne urban development referrals

A new policy statement concerning referrals for urban development near Melbourne has been published. The policy applies to certain projects outside Melbourne's growth areas for which some of the approaches developed for the Melbourne strategic assessment can be applied.

Interim koala referral advice for proponents

The koala is a listed threatened species under the EPBC Act. The Interim referral advice for proponents is now available.

Flying-foxes and the EPBC Act

A new web page is now available with information about flying-foxes and national environmental law.

Strategic Assessment - Great Barrier Reef

The Australian Government, including the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and the Queensland Government have formally agreed to undertake a comprehensive strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and adjacent coastal zone.

Coal seam gas and national environmental law

The department has published a new web page and frequently asked questions with information about coal seam gas and national environment law.

Alpine National Park

A proposal by the Victorian Government to reintroduce cattle to the National Heritage listed Alpine National Park in Victoria has been determined to be clearly unacceptable under national environmental law and will not proceed.

Strategic assessment of Heathcote Ridge, West Menai, NSW

Public consultation for proposed urban and commercial development on a 850 hectare site at West Menai, Sydney, NSW was held between 14 December 2011 and 29 February 2012. The proposal includes conservation of 514 hectares of the site to protect matters of national environmental significance. More information is available at:

Public comments can be viewed at:

Mining company to pay for environmental damage

A New South Wales mining company has committed to pay $1.45 million after causing damage to a nationally threatened ecological community. An investigation by the federal environment department found that the long wall coal mining operations of Centennial Coal on the Newnes Plateau, near Lithgow, New South Wales, had caused a significant impact on the endangered Temperate highland peat swamps on sandstone ecological community.

Nationally Threatened Ecological Communities of the Victorian Volcanic Plain: Natural Temperate Grassland & Grassy Eucalypt Woodland

This publication updates the previous policy statement for the Natural Temperate Grasslands of the Victorian Volcanic Plain ecological community. This new version includes information about other nationally threatened ecological communities in the Victorian Volcanic Plain, notably the Grassy Eucalypt Woodland of the Victorian Volcanic Plain.

Landowner to repair environmental damage

A private landowner will have to repair environmental damage caused by unauthorised land clearing at Warren in the NSW Central West.

Singleton Council to repair environmental damage

Singleton Council will have to repair environmental damage caused by unauthorised land clearing at Jerrys Plains Cemetery in the Hunter Valley.

Impacts of coal seam gas activities on water inflows in South East Queensland

The Environment Minister, has released an independent expert report into recently approved coal seam gas operations in South East Queensland.

Bushfire management and national environment law

The fact sheet aims to provide guidance on the EPBC Act and its role in regulating bushfire prevention and management.

Cumberland Plain Shale Woodlands and Shale-Gravel Transition Forest

A nationally threatened ecological community Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 Policy Statement 3.31

Gunns Bell Bay Pulp Mill

Environmental Impact Management Plan modules - includes Tarkine Emergency Listing notice.