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Act No. 91 of 1999 as amended, taking into account amendments up to Act No. 38 of 2005
An Act relating to the protection of the environment and the conservation of biodiversity, and for related purposes
Administered by: DOEH
Registered 16 May 2005
Start Date 16 May 2005
End Date 31 Dec 2006
Table of contents.
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Collapse Volume 1Volume 1
Chapter 1—Preliminary
Part 1—Preliminary
1 Short title [see Note 1]
2 Commencement [see Note 1]
3 Objects of Act
3A Principles of ecologically sustainable development
4 Act to bind Crown
5 Application of Act
7 Application of the Criminal Code
8 Native title rights not affected
9 Relationship with other Acts
10 Relationship with State law
Chapter 2—Protecting the environment
Part 2—Simplified outline of this Chapter
11 Simplified outline of this Chapter
Part 3—Requirements for environmental approvals
Division 1—Requirements relating to matters of national environmental significance
Subdivision A—World Heritage
12 Requirement for approval of activities with a significant impact on a declared World Heritage property
13 What is a declared World Heritage property?
14 Declaring a property to be a declared World Heritage property
15 Amending or revoking a declaration of a declared World Heritage property
15A Offences relating to declared World Heritage properties
Subdivision AA—National Heritage
15B Requirement for approval of activities with a significant impact on a National Heritage place
15C Offences relating to National Heritage places
Subdivision B—Wetlands of international importance
16 Requirement for approval of activities with a significant impact on a declared Ramsar wetland
17 What is a declared Ramsar wetland?
17A Making and revoking declarations of wetlands
17B Offences relating to declared Ramsar wetlands
Subdivision C—Listed threatened species and communities
18 Actions with significant impact on listed threatened species or endangered community prohibited without approval
18A Offences relating to threatened species etc.
19 Certain actions relating to listed threatened species and listed threatened ecological communities not prohibited
Subdivision D—Listed migratory species
20 Requirement for approval of activities with a significant impact on a listed migratory species
20A Offences relating to listed migratory species
Subdivision E—Protection of the environment from nuclear actions
21 Requirement for approval of nuclea r actions
22 What is a nuclear action?
22A Offences relating to nuclear actions
Subdivision F—Marine environment
23 Requirement for approval of activities involving the marine environment
24 What is a Commonwealth marine area?
24A Offences relating to marine areas
Subdivision G—Additional matters of national environmental significance
25 Requirement for approval of prescribed actions
Subdivision H—Actions that are taken to be covered by this Division
25A Actions that are taken to be covered by this Division
Subdivision I—Evidentiary certificates
25B Evidentiary certificates
25C Certificate to be given to person
25D Evidentiary effect of certificate
25E Variation of certificate
25F Revocation of certificate
Division 2—Protection of the environment from proposals involving the Commonwealth
Subdivision A—Protection of environment from actions involving Commonwealth land
26 Requirement for approval of activities involving Commonwealth land
27 What is Commonwealth land?
27A Offences relating to Commonwealth land
Subdivision AA—Protection of Commonwealth Heritage places outside the Australian jurisdiction
27B Requirement for approval of actions with significant impact on Commonwealth Heritage places overseas
27C Offences relating to Commonwealth Heritage places overseas
Subdivision B—Protection of the environment from Commonwealth actions
28 Requirement for approval of activities of Commonwealth agencies significantly affecting the environment
Subdivision C—Actions that are taken to be covered by this Division
28AA Actions that are taken to be covered by this Division
Division 3—Review of extension of operation of this Part
28A Identifying extra matters to be protected by this Part
Part 4—Cases in which environmental approvals are not needed
Division 1—Actions covered by bilateral agreements
29 Actions declared by agreement not to need approval
30 Extended operation in State and Northern Territory waters
31 Extended operation in non‑self‑governing Territories
Division 2—Actions covered by Ministerial declarations
Subdivision A—Effect of declarations
32 Actions declared by Minister not to need approval
33 Making declaration that actions do not need approval under Part 9
34 What is matter protected by a provision of Part 3?
Subdivision C—Prerequisites for making declarations
34A Minister may only make declaration if prescribed criteria are met
34B Declarations relating to declared World Heritage properties
34BA Declarations relating to National Heritage places
34C Declarations relating to declared Ramsar wetlands
34D Declarations relating to listed threatened species and ecological communities
34E Declarations relating to migratory species
34F Declarations relating to Commonwealth Heritage places
Subdivision D—Other rules about declarations
35 Revoking declarations
36 Other rules about declarations
Division 4—Forestry operations in certain regions
Subdivision A—Regions covered by regional forest agreements
38 Part 3 not to apply to certain RFA forestry operations
Subdivision B—Regions subject to a process of negotiating a regional forest agreement
39 Object of this Subdivision
40 Forestry operations in regions not yet covered by regional forest agreements
41 What is an RFA region?
Subdivision C—Limits on application
42 This Division does not apply to some forestry operations
Division 5—Actions in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
43 Actions taken in accordance with permission
Division 6—Actions with prior authorisation
43A Actions with prior authorisation
43B Actions which are lawful continuations of use of land etc.
Chapter 3—Bilateral agreements
Part 5—Bilateral agreements
Division 1—Object of Part
44 Object of this Part
Division 2—Making bilateral agreements
Subdivision A—Power to make bilateral agreements
45 Minister may make agreement
46 Agreement may declare actions do not need approval under Part 9
47 Agreement may declare classes of actions do not need assessment
48 Other provisions of bilateral agreements
48A Mandatory provisions
49 Express provision needed to affect Commonwealth areas or actions
Subdivision B—Prerequisites for making bilateral a greements
49A Consultation on draft agreement
50 Minister may only enter into agreement if prescribed criteria are met
51 Agreements relating to declared World Heritage properties
51A Agreements relating to National Heritage places
52 Agreements relating to declared Ramsar wetlands
53 Agreements relating to listed threatened species and ecological communities
54 Agreements relating to migratory species
55 Agreements relating to nuclear actions
56 Agreements relating to prescribed actions
Division 3—Suspending and ending the effect of bilateral agreements
Subdivision A—Suspension and cancellation of effect
57 Representations about suspension or cancellation
58 Consultation before cancellation or suspension
59 Suspension or cancellation
60 Emergency suspension of effect of bilateral agreement
61 Cancellation during suspension
62 Revocation of notice of suspension or cancellation
63 Cancellation or suspension at request of other party
64 Cancellation or suspension of bilateral agreement does not affect certain actions
Subdivision B—Expiry of bilateral agreements
65 Expiry and review of bilateral agreements
65A Expiry of bilateral agreement does not affect certain actions
Chapter 4—Environmental assessments and approvals
Part 6—Simplified outline of this Chapter
66 Simplified outline of this Chapter
Part 7—Deciding whether approval of actions is needed
Division 1—Referral of proposals to take action
67 What is a controlled action?
68 Referral by person proposing to take action
69 State or Territory may refer proposal to Minister
70 Minister may request referral of proposal
71 Commonwealth agency may refer proposal to Minister
72 Form and content of referrals
73 Informing person proposing to take action of referral
74 Inviting provision of information on referred proposal
74A Minister may request referral of a larger action
Division 2—Ministerial decision whether action needs approval
75 Does the proposed action need approval?
76 Minister may request more information for making decision
77A Action to be taken in a particular manner
78 Reconsideration of decision
79 Reconsideration of decision on request by a State or Territory
Part 8—Assessing impacts of controlled actions
Division 1—Simplified outline of this Part
80 Simplified outline of this Part
Division 2—Application of this Part
81 Application
82 What are the relevant impacts of an action?
83 This Part does not apply if action covered by bilateral agreement
84 This Part does not apply if action covered by declaration
Division 3—Decision on assessment approach
Subdivision A—Simplified outline of this Division
85 Simplified outline of this Division
Subdivision B—Deciding on approach for assessment
86 Designated proponent must provide preliminary information for assessment
87 Minister must decide on approach for assessment
88 Timing of decision on assessment approach
89 Minister may request more information for making decision
90 Directing an inquiry after starting an assessment
91 Notice of decision on assessment approach
Division 4—Assessment on preliminary documentation
92 Application
93 Public comment on information included in referral
94 Revised documentation
95 Assessment report
Division 5—Public environment reports
96 Application
97 Minister must prepare guidelines for draft public environment report
98 Designated proponent must invite comment on draft public environment report
99 Finalising public environment report
100 Assessment report
Division 6—Environmental impact statements
101 Application
102 Minister must prepare guidelines for draft environmental impact statement
103 Designated proponent must invite comment on draft environmental impact statement
104 Finalising draft environmental impact statement
105 Assessment report
Division 7—Inquiries
Subdivision A—Preliminary
106 Simplified outline
Subdivision B—Establishment of inquiries
107 Appointing commissioners and setting terms of reference
108 Publicising inquiry
Subdivision C—Conduct of inquiries
109 Procedure of inquiries
110 Inquiry to be public
111 Calling witnesses
112 Dealing with witnesses
113 Dealing with documents given to commission
114 Inspections of land, buildings and places
115 Entering premises by consent
116 Entering premises under warrant
117 Warrants by telephone or other electronic means
118 Identity cards
119 Contempt
120 Protection of commissioners and witnesses
Subdivision D—Inquiry reports
121 Timing of report
122 Publication of report
Subdivision E—Commissioners’ terms and conditions
123 Basis of appointment
124 Remuneration
125 Leave of absence
126 Resignation
127 Termination of appointment
128 Disclosure of interests
129 Other terms and conditions
Part 9—Approval of actions
Division 1—Decisions on approval and conditions
Subdivision A—General
130 Timing of decision on approval
131 Inviting comments from other Ministers before decision
132 Requesting further information for approval decision
133 Grant of approval
134 Attaching conditions to approval
135 Certain approvals and conditions must not give preference
Subdivision B—Considerations for approvals and conditions
136 General considerations
137 Requirements for decisions about World Heritage
137A Requirements for decisions about National Heritage places
138 Requirements for decisions about Ramsar wetlands
139 Requirements for decisions about threatened species and endangered communities
140 Requirements for decisions about migratory species
140A No approval for certain nuclear installations
Division 2—Requirement to comply with conditions
142 Compliance with conditions on approval
142A Offence of breaching conditions on approval
Division 3—Variation of conditions and suspensio n and revocation of approvals
143 Variation of conditions attached to approval
144 Suspension of approval
145 Revocation of approval
145A Reinstating suspended or revoked approval
Division 4—Transfer of approvals
145B Transfer with Minister’s consent
Part 10—Strategic assessments
Division 1—Strategic assessments generally
146 Minister may agree on strategic assessment
Division 2—Assessment of Commonwealth‑managed fisheries
147 Simplified outline of this Division
148 Assessment before management plan is determined
149 Assessment before determination that no plan required
150 Assessment of all fisheries without plans must be started within 5 years
151 Assessment of all Torres Strait fisheries to be started within 5 years
152 Further assessment if impacts greater than previously assessed
153 Minister must make declaration if he or she endorses plan or policy
154 This Division does not limit Division 1
Part 11—Miscellaneous rules about assessments and approvals
Division 1—Rules about timing
155 This Chapter ceases to apply to lapsed proposals
156 General rules about time limits
Division 2—Actions in area offshore from a State or the Northern Territory
157 Actions treated as though they were in a State or the Northern Territory
Division 3—Exemptions
158 Exemptions from Part 3 and this Chapter
Division 4—Application of Chapter to actions that are not controlled actions
Subdivision A—Minister’s advice on authorising actions
159 Simplified outline of this Subdivision
160 Requirement to take account of Minister’s advice
161 Seeking the Minister’s advice
162 Assessment of the action
163 Providing advice
164 Reporting on response to advice
Subdivision B—Assessment of applications for permits relating to whales, dolphins and porpoises
165 Assessment of applications for permits relating to whales, dolphins and porpoises
Subdivision C—Assessment under agreement with State or Territory
166 This Subdivision applies if Ministers agree it should
167 Making an agreement
168 Content of an agreement
170 Application of Division 1 of Part 10
Division 5—Publication of information relating to assessments
170A Publication of information relating to assessments
Chapter 5—Conservation of biodiversity and heritage
Part 12—Identifying and monitoring biodiversity and making bioregional plans
Division 1—Identifying and monitoring biodiversity
171 Identifying and monitoring biodiversity
172 Inventories of listed threatened species etc. on Commonwealth land
173 Surveys of cetaceans, listed threatened species etc. in Commonwealth marine areas
174 Inventories and surveys to be updated
175 Obligations under this Act unaffected by lack of inventories or surveys
Division 2—Bioregional plans
176 Bioregional plans
177 Obligations under this Act unaffected by lack of bioregional plans
Part 13—Species and communities
Division 1—Listed threatened species and ecological communities
Subdivision A—Listing
178 Listing of threatened species
179 Categories of threatened species
180 Native species of marine fish
181 Listing of threatened ecological communities
182 Critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable communities
183 Listing of key threatening processes
184 Minister may amend lists
185 Maintaining the lists in up‑to‑date condition
186 Amending list of threatened native species
187 Amending list of ecological communities
188 Amending list of key threatening processes
189 Minister must consider advice from Scientific Committee
190 Scientific Committee may provide advice about species or communities becoming threatened
191 Nomination of threatened species etc.
192 Rediscovery of threatened species that were extinct
193 Species posing a serious threat to human health
194 Minister to make lists available to the public
Subdivision B—Permit system
195 Subdivision does not apply to cetaceans
196 Recklessly killing or injuring member of listed threatened species or community
196A Strict liability for killing or injuring member of listed threatened species or community
196B Recklessly taking etc. member of listed threatened species or community
196C Strict liability for taking etc. member of listed threatened species or community
196D Trading etc. member of listed threatened species or community taken in Commonwealth area
196E Strict liability for trading etc. member of listed threatened species or community taken in Commonwealth area
197 Certain actions are not offences
198 Operation of sections 18 and 18A not affected
199 Failing to notify taking of listed threatened species or listed ecological community
200 Application for permits
201 Minister may issue permits
202 Conditions of permits
203 Contravening conditions of a permit
204 Authorities under permits
205 Transfer of permits
206 Suspension or cancellation of permits
206A Review of decisions about permits
207 Fees
Subdivision BA—Protecting critical habitat
207A Register of critical habitat
207B Offence of knowingly damaging critical habitat
207C Sale or lease of Commonwealth land containing critical habitat
Subdivision C—Miscellaneous
208A Minister may accredit plans or regimes
208 Regulations
Division 2—Migratory species
Subdivision A—Listing
209 Listed migratory species
Subdivision B—Permit system
210 Subdivision does not apply to members of listed threatened species or cetaceans
211 Recklessly killing or injuring member of listed migratory species
211A Strict liability for killing or injuring member of listed migratory species
211B Recklessly taking etc. member of listed migratory species
211C Strict liability for taking etc. member of listed migratory species
211D Trading etc. member of listed migratory species taken in Commonwealth area
211E Strict liability for trading etc. member of listed migratory species taken in Commonwealth area
212 Certain actions are not offences
213 Operation of sections 20 and 20A not affected
214 Failing to notify taking etc. of listed migratory species
215 Application for permits
216 Minister may issue permits
217 Conditions of permits
218 Contravening conditions of a permit
219 Authorities under permits
220 Transfer of permits
221 Suspension or cancellation of permits
221A Review of decisions about permits
222 Fees
Subdivision C—Miscellaneous
222A Minister may accredit plans or regimes
223 Regulations
Division 3—Whales and other cetaceans
Subdivision A—Application of Division
224 Application of Division
Subdivision B—Australian Whale Sanctuary
225 Australian Whale Sanctuary
226 Prescribed waters
227 Coastal waters
228 Minister may make declaration for coastal waters
Subdivision C—Offences
229 Recklessly killing or injuring a cetacean
229A Strict liability for killing or injuring a cetacean
229B Intentionally taking etc. a cetacean
229C Strict liability for taking etc. a cetacean
229D Treating an illegally killed or taken cetacean
230 Possession of cetaceans
231 Certain actions are not offences
232 Action to be taken on killing etc. cetaceans
Subdivision D—Offences relating to exports and imports
232A Export of cetaceans
232B Import of cetaceans
233 Possession of unlawfully imported cetaceans
234 Treating unlawfully imported cetaceans
235 Sections 232A, 232B, 233 and 234 do not apply to certain actions
Subdivision E—Miscellaneous offences
236 Offences relating to foreign whaling vessels
Subdivision F—Permit system
237 Application for permits
238 Minister may issue permi ts
239 Conditions of permits
240 Contravening conditions of a permit
241 Authorities under permits
242 Transfer of permits
243 Suspension or cancellation of permits
243A Review of decisions about permits
244 Fees
Subdivision G—Miscellaneous
245 Minister may accredit plans or regimes
246 Vesting of whales in Commonwealth
247 Regulations
Division 4—Listed marine species
Subdivision A—Listing
248 Listed marine species
249 Minister may amend list
250 Adding marine species to the list
251 Minister must consider advice from Scientific Committee
252 Minister to make lists available to the public
Subdivision B—Permit system
253 Subdivision does not apply to members of certain species and cetaceans
254 Recklessly killing or injuring member of listed marine species
254A Strict liability for killing or injuring member of listed marine species
254B Recklessly taking etc. member of listed marine species
254C Strict liability for taking etc. member of listed marine species
254D Trading etc. member of listed marine species taken in Commonwealth area
254E Strict liability for trading etc. member of listed marine species taken in Commonwealth area
255 Certain actions are not offences
256 Failing to notify taking etc. of listed marine wildlife
257 Application for permits
258 Minister may issue permits
259 Conditions of permits
260 Contravening conditions of a permit
261 Authorities under permits
262 Transfer of permits
263 Suspension or cancellation of permits
263A Review of decisions about permits
264 Fees
Subdivision C—Miscellaneous
265 Minister may accredit plans or regimes
266 Regulations
Division 4A—Register for consultations about permits
266A Register for consultation about permit applications
Expand Volume 2Volume 2

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

Act No. 91 of 1999 as amended

Volume 1        includes:           Table of Contents

                                                Sections 1 – 266A

This compilation was prepared on 16 May 2005
incorporating amendments up to Act No. 38 of 2005

Volume 2         includes:           Table of Contents
                                                Sections 267 – 528
                                                Note 1
                                                Table of Acts
                                                Act Notes
                                                Table of Amendments
                                                Note 2
                                                Table A

The text of any of those amendments not in force
on that date is appended in the Notes section

The operation of amendments that have been incorporated may be
affected by application provisions that are set out in the Notes section

Prepared by the Office of Legislative Drafting and Publishing,
Attorney-General’s Department,
Canberra

 

 

 


Contents

Chapter 1—Preliminary                                                                                                       1

Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                                               1

1............ Short title [see Note 1]....................................................................... 1

2............ Commencement [see Note 1].............................................................. 1

3............ Objects of Act.................................................................................... 1

3A......... Principles of ecologically sustainable development............................ 3

4............ Act to bind Crown.............................................................................. 4

5............ Application of Act............................................................................. 4

7............ Application of the Criminal Code...................................................... 6

8............ Native title rights not affected............................................................ 6

9............ Relationship with other Acts............................................................. 6

10.......... Relationship with State law................................................................ 7

Chapter 2—Protecting the environment                                                                    8

Part 2—Simplified outline of this Chapter                                                                8

11.......... Simplified outline of this Chapter...................................................... 8

Part 3—Requirements for environmental approvals                                          9

Division 1—Requirements relating to matters of national environmental significance                9

Subdivision A—World Heritage                                                                               9

12.......... Requirement for approval of activities with a significant impact on a declared World Heritage property             9

13.......... What is a declared World Heritage property?.................................. 10

14.......... Declaring a property to be a declared World Heritage property...... 10

15.......... Amending or revoking a declaration of a declared World Heritage property           12

15A....... Offences relating to declared World Heritage properties.................. 13

Subdivision AA—National Heritage                                                                      14

15B....... Requirement for approval of activities with a significant impact on a National Heritage place              14

15C....... Offences relating to National Heritage places................................... 16

Subdivision B—Wetlands of international importance                                      21

16.......... Requirement for approval of activities with a significant impact on a declared Ramsar wetland            21

17.......... What is a declared Ramsar wetland?................................................ 22

17A....... Making and revoking declarations of wetlands................................. 22

17B....... Offences relating to declared Ramsar wetlands................................ 24

Subdivision C—Listed threatened species and communities                            25

18.......... Actions with significant impact on listed threatened species or endangered community prohibited without approval.......................................................................................................... 25

18A....... Offences relating to threatened species etc....................................... 27

19.......... Certain actions relating to listed threatened species and listed threatened ecological communities not prohibited 28

Subdivision D—Listed migratory species                                                            29

20.......... Requirement for approval of activities with a significant impact on a listed migratory species             29

20A....... Offences relating to listed migratory species.................................... 29

Subdivision E—Protection of the environment from nuclear actions              30

21.......... Requirement for approval of nuclear actions.................................... 30

22.......... What is a nuclear action?.................................................................. 32

22A....... Offences relating to nuclear actions.................................................. 33

Subdivision F—Marine environment                                                                     35

23.......... Requirement for approval of activities involving the marine environment              35

24.......... What is a Commonwealth marine area?........................................... 37

24A....... Offences relating to marine areas...................................................... 38

Subdivision G—Additional matters of national environmental significance 42

25.......... Requirement for approval of prescribed actions.............................. 42

Subdivision H—Actions that are taken to be covered by this Division            44

25A....... Actions that are taken to be covered by this Division..................... 44

Subdivision I—Evidentiary certificates                                                                 45

25B....... Evidentiary certificates..................................................................... 45

25C....... Certificate to be given to person....................................................... 46

25D....... Evidentiary effect of certificate........................................................ 46

25E........ Variation of certificate...................................................................... 46

25F........ Revocation of certificate................................................................... 46

Division 2—Protection of the environment from proposals involving the Commonwealth        47

Subdivision A—Protection of environment from actions involving Commonwealth land  47

26.......... Requirement for approval of activities involving Commonwealth land.. 47

27.......... What is Commonwealth land?.......................................................... 48

27A....... Offences relating to Commonwealth land......................................... 48

Subdivision AA—Protection of Commonwealth Heritage places outside the Australian jurisdiction            50

27B....... Requirement for approval of actions with significant impact on Commonwealth Heritage places overseas          50

27C....... Offences relating to Commonwealth Heritage places overseas........ 51

Subdivision B—Protection of the environment from Commonwealth actions 52

28.......... Requirement for approval of activities of Commonwealth agencies significantly affecting the environment         52

Subdivision C—Actions that are taken to be covered by this Division            54

28AA.... Actions that are taken to be covered by this Division..................... 54

Division 3—Review of extension of operation of this Part                     55

28A....... Identifying extra matters to be protected by this Part..................... 55

Part 4—Cases in which environmental approvals are not needed            56

Division 1—Actions covered by bilateral agreements                             56

29.......... Actions declared by agreement not to need approval....................... 56

30.......... Extended operation in State and Northern Territory waters............ 57

31.......... Extended operation in non-self-governing Territories...................... 57

Division 2—Actions covered by Ministerial declarations                      59

Subdivision A—Effect of declarations                                                                   59

32.......... Actions declared by Minister not to need approval......................... 59

Subdivision B—Making declarations                                                                    59

33.......... Making declaration that actions do not need approval under Part 9 59

34.......... What is matter protected by a provision of Part 3?.......................... 62

Subdivision C—Prerequisites for making declarations                                    64

34A....... Minister may only make declaration if prescribed criteria are met.. 64

34B....... Declarations relating to declared World Heritage properties............ 65

34BA.... Declarations relating to National Heritage places............................. 65

34C....... Declarations relating to declared Ramsar wetlands........................... 66

34D....... Declarations relating to listed threatened species and ecological communities        66

34E........ Declarations relating to migratory species........................................ 67

34F........ Declarations relating to Commonwealth Heritage places................. 68

Subdivision D—Other rules about declarations                                                  69

35.......... Revoking declarations....................................................................... 69

36.......... Other rules about declarations.......................................................... 69

Division 4—Forestry operations in certain regions                                   71

Subdivision A—Regions covered by regional forest agreements                    71

38.......... Part 3 not to apply to certain RFA forestry operations.................. 71

Subdivision B—Regions subject to a process of negotiating a regional forest agreement               71

39.......... Object of this Subdivision................................................................ 71

40.......... Forestry operations in regions not yet covered by regional forest agreements       71

41.......... What is an RFA region?.................................................................... 73

Subdivision C—Limits on application                                                                   74

42.......... This Division does not apply to some forestry operations............. 74

Division 5—Actions in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park               75

43.......... Actions taken in accordance with permission.................................. 75

Division 6Actions with prior authorisation                                                 76

43A....... Actions with prior authorisation...................................................... 76

43B....... Actions which are lawful continuations of use of land etc............... 76

Chapter 3—Bilateral agreements                                                                                77

Part 5—Bilateral agreements                                                                                        77

Division 1—Object of Part                                                                                       77

44.......... Object of this Part............................................................................ 77

Division 2—Making bilateral agreements                                                      78

Subdivision A—Power to make bilateral agreements                                        78

45.......... Minister may make agreement.......................................................... 78

46.......... Agreement may declare actions do not need approval under Part 9. 79

47.......... Agreement may declare classes of actions do not need assessment. 82

48.......... Other provisions of bilateral agreements.......................................... 83

48A....... Mandatory provisions...................................................................... 84

49.......... Express provision needed to affect Commonwealth areas or actions 86

Subdivision B—Prerequisites for making bilateral agreements                    86

49A....... Consultation on draft agreement....................................................... 86

50.......... Minister may only enter into agreement if prescribed criteria are met 87

51.......... Agreements relating to declared World Heritage properties............. 87

51A....... Agreements relating to National Heritage places.............................. 88

52.......... Agreements relating to declared Ramsar wetlands............................ 88

53.......... Agreements relating to listed threatened species and ecological communities         89

54.......... Agreements relating to migratory species......................................... 90

55.......... Agreements relating to nuclear actions............................................. 91

56.......... Agreements relating to prescribed actions........................................ 91

Division 3—Suspending and ending the effect of bilateral agreements 92

Subdivision A—Suspension and cancellation of effect                                       92

57.......... Representations about suspension or cancellation........................... 92

58.......... Consultation before cancellation or suspension............................... 93

59.......... Suspension or cancellation................................................................ 93

60.......... Emergency suspension of effect of bilateral agreement.................... 95

61.......... Cancellation during suspension........................................................ 96

62.......... Revocation of notice of suspension or cancellation.......................... 96

63.......... Cancellation or suspension at request of other party....................... 97

64.......... Cancellation or suspension of bilateral agreement does not affect certain actions   98

Subdivision B—Expiry of bilateral agreements                                                   98

65.......... Expiry and review of bilateral agreements........................................ 98

65A....... Expiry of bilateral agreement does not affect certain actions........... 99

Chapter 4—Environmental assessments and approvals                              100

Part 6—Simplified outline of this Chapter                                                            100

66.......... Simplified outline of this Chapter.................................................. 100

Part 7—Deciding whether approval of actions is needed                             102

Division 1—Referral of proposals to take action                                       102

67.......... What is a controlled action?............................................................ 102

68.......... Referral by person proposing to take action.................................. 102

69.......... State or Territory may refer proposal to Minister......................... 103

70.......... Minister may request referral of proposal..................................... 103

71.......... Commonwealth agency may refer proposal to Minister................ 104

72.......... Form and content of referrals......................................................... 104

73.......... Informing person proposing to take action of referral.................... 105

74.......... Inviting provision of information on referred proposal.................. 105

74A....... Minister may request referral of a larger action.............................. 106

Division 2—Ministerial decision whether action needs approval    108

75.......... Does the proposed action need approval?..................................... 108

76.......... Minister may request more information for making decision......... 110

77.......... Notice and reasons for decision...................................................... 110

77A....... Action to be taken in a particular manner....................................... 111

78.......... Reconsideration of decision............................................................ 112

79.......... Reconsideration of decision on request by a State or Territory..... 114

Part 8—Assessing impacts of controlled actions                                              116

Division 1—Simplified outline of this Part                                                     116

80.......... Simplified outline of this Part......................................................... 116

Division 2—Application of this Part                                                                  117

81.......... Application..................................................................................... 117

82.......... What are the relevant impacts of an action?................................... 117

83.......... This Part does not apply if action covered by bilateral agreement 118

84.......... This Part does not apply if action covered by declaration............. 118

Division 3—Decision on assessment approach                                          121

Subdivision A—Simplified outline of this Division                                           121

85.......... Simplified outline of this Division.................................................. 121

Subdivision B—Deciding on approach for assessment                                    121

86.......... Designated proponent must provide preliminary information for assessment       121

87.......... Minister must decide on approach for assessment........................ 122

88.......... Timing of decision on assessment approach.................................. 124

89.......... Minister may request more information for making decision......... 125

90.......... Directing an inquiry after starting an assessment........................... 125

91.......... Notice of decision on assessment approach................................... 126

Division 4—Assessment on preliminary documentation                       127

92.......... Application..................................................................................... 127

93.......... Public comment on information included in referral....................... 127

94.......... Revised documentation................................................................... 127

95.......... Assessment report.......................................................................... 128

Division 5—Public environment reports                                                        130

96.......... Application..................................................................................... 130

97.......... Minister must prepare guidelines for draft public environment report 130

98.......... Designated proponent must invite comment on draft public environment report  131

99.......... Finalising public environment report.............................................. 132

100........ Assessment report.......................................................................... 133

Division 6—Environmental impact statements                                          134

101........ Application..................................................................................... 134

102........ Minister must prepare guidelines for draft environmental impact statement          134

103........ Designated proponent must invite comment on draft environmental impact statement         135

104........ Finalising draft environmental impact statement............................ 136

105........ Assessment report.......................................................................... 137

Division 7—Inquiries                                                                                                139

Subdivision A—Preliminary                                                                                 139

106........ Simplified outline............................................................................ 139

Subdivision B—Establishment of inquiries                                                        139

107........ Appointing commissioners and setting terms of reference............. 139

108........ Publicising inquiry.......................................................................... 140

Subdivision C—Conduct of inquiries                                                                  141

109........ Procedure of inquiries..................................................................... 141

110........ Inquiry to be public........................................................................ 141

111........ Calling witnesses............................................................................ 142

112........ Dealing with witnesses................................................................... 143

113........ Dealing with documents given to commission................................ 144

114........ Inspections of land, buildings and places....................................... 144

115........ Entering premises by consent......................................................... 145

116........ Entering premises under warrant.................................................... 146

117........ Warrants by telephone or other electronic means.......................... 146

118........ Identity cards.................................................................................. 148

119........ Contempt........................................................................................ 148

120........ Protection of commissioners and witnesses................................... 149

Subdivision D—Inquiry reports                                                                            151

121........ Timing of report............................................................................. 151

122........ Publication of report....................................................................... 151

Subdivision E—Commissioners’ terms and conditions                                   151

123........ Basis of appointment..................................................................... 151

124........ Remuneration.................................................................................. 152

125........ Leave of absence............................................................................. 152

126........ Resignation..................................................................................... 153

127........ Termination of appointment.......................................................... 153

128........ Disclosure of interests.................................................................... 154

129........ Other terms and conditions............................................................ 154

Part 9—Approval of actions                                                                                          155

Division 1—Decisions on approval and conditions                                   155

Subdivision A—General                                                                                         155

130........ Timing of decision on approval...................................................... 155

131........ Inviting comments from other Ministers before decision............... 158

132........ Requesting further information for approval decision.................... 158

133........ Grant of approval........................................................................... 159

134........ Attaching conditions to approval................................................... 161

135........ Certain approvals and conditions must not give preference........... 163

Subdivision B—Considerations for approvals and conditions                        163

136........ General considerations.................................................................... 163

137........ Requirements for decisions about World Heritage......................... 164

137A..... Requirements for decisions about National Heritage places........... 165

138........ Requirements for decisions about Ramsar wetlands...................... 165

139........ Requirements for decisions about threatened species and endangered communities               165

140........ Requirements for decisions about migratory species..................... 166

140A..... No approval for certain nuclear installations.................................. 166

Division 2—Requirement to comply with conditions                              167

142........ Compliance with conditions on approval....................................... 167

142A..... Offence of breaching conditions on approval................................. 167

Division 3—Variation of conditions and suspension and revocation of approvals           169

143........ Variation of conditions attached to approval................................. 169

144........ Suspension of approval.................................................................. 170

145........ Revocation of approval.................................................................. 171

145A..... Reinstating suspended or revoked approval................................... 172

Division 4—Transfer of approvals                                                                     174

145B..... Transfer with Minister’s consent................................................... 174

Part 10—Strategic assessments                                                                                 176

Division 1—Strategic assessments generally                                              176

146........ Minister may agree on strategic assessment................................... 176

Division 2—Assessment of Commonwealth-managed fisheries       178

147........ Simplified outline of this Division.................................................. 178

148........ Assessment before management plan is determined....................... 179

149........ Assessment before determination that no plan required................ 179

150........ Assessment of all fisheries without plans must be started within 5 years              180

151........ Assessment of all Torres Strait fisheries to be started within 5 years 181

152........ Further assessment if impacts greater than previously assessed... 181

153........ Minister must make declaration if he or she endorses plan or policy 182

154........ This Division does not limit Division 1......................................... 183

Part 11—Miscellaneous rules about assessments and approvals          184

Division 1—Rules about timing                                                                          184

155........ This Chapter ceases to apply to lapsed proposals........................ 184

156........ General rules about time limits....................................................... 185

Division 2—Actions in area offshore from a State or the Northern Territory    186

157........ Actions treated as though they were in a State or the Northern Territory              186

Division 3—Exemptions                                                                                         187

158........ Exemptions from Part 3 and this Chapter...................................... 187

Division 4—Application of Chapter to actions that are not controlled actions  188

Subdivision A—Minister’s advice on authorising actions                              188

159........ Simplified outline of this Subdivision............................................. 188

160........ Requirement to take account of Minister’s advice......................... 189

161........ Seeking the Minister’s advice......................................................... 191

162........ Assessment of the action................................................................ 192

163........ Providing advice.............................................................................. 192

164........ Reporting on response to advice.................................................... 193

Subdivision B—Assessment of applications for permits relating to whales, dolphins and porpoises             193

165........ Assessment of applications for permits relating to whales, dolphins and porpoises             193

Subdivision C—Assessment under agreement with State or Territory       194

166........ This Subdivision applies if Ministers agree it should.................... 194

167........ Making an agreement...................................................................... 195

168........ Content of an agreement................................................................. 195

169........ Application of a Division of Part 8................................................ 197

170........ Application of Division 1 of Part 10.............................................. 198

Division 5—Publication of information relating to assessments       199

170A..... Publication of information relating to assessments........................ 199

Chapter 5—Conservation of biodiversity and heritage                                 200

Part 12—Identifying and monitoring biodiversity and making bioregional plans   200

Division 1—Identifying and monitoring biodiversity                               200

171........ Identifying and monitoring biodiversity......................................... 200

172........ Inventories of listed threatened species etc. on Commonwealth land 201

173........ Surveys of cetaceans, listed threatened species etc. in Commonwealth marine areas             201

174........ Inventories and surveys to be updated........................................... 202

175........ Obligations under this Act unaffected by lack of inventories or surveys                202

Division 2—Bioregional plans                                                                             203

176........ Bioregional plans............................................................................ 203

177........ Obligations under this Act unaffected by lack of bioregional plans 203

Part 13—Species and communities                                                                           204

Division 1—Listed threatened species and ecological communities 204

Subdivision A—Listing                                                                                          204

178........ Listing of threatened species.......................................................... 204

179........ Categories of threatened species..................................................... 205

180........ Native species of marine fish.......................................................... 206

181........ Listing of threatened ecological communities................................. 206

182........ Critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable communities..... 207

183........ Listing of key threatening processes.............................................. 207

184........ Minister may amend lists............................................................... 208

185........ Maintaining the lists in up-to-date condition................................. 209

186........ Amending list of threatened native species.................................... 209

187........ Amending list of ecological communities........................................ 210

188........ Amending list of key threatening processes................................... 211

189........ Minister must consider advice from Scientific Committee............. 212

190........ Scientific Committee may provide advice about species or communities becoming threatened              213

191........ Nomination of threatened species etc............................................. 213

192........ Rediscovery of threatened species that were extinct...................... 214

193........ Species posing a serious threat to human health............................ 214

194........ Minister to make lists available to the public................................. 215

Subdivision B—Permit system                                                                             215

195........ Subdivision does not apply to cetaceans........................................ 215

196........ Recklessly killing or injuring member of listed threatened species or community  215

196A..... Strict liability for killing or injuring member of listed threatened species or community        216

196B..... Recklessly taking etc. member of listed threatened species or community             216

196C..... Strict liability for taking etc. member of listed threatened species or community   217

196D..... Trading etc. member of listed threatened species or community taken in Commonwealth area             217

196E...... Strict liability for trading etc. member of listed threatened species or community taken in Commonwealth area  218

197........ Certain actions are not offences...................................................... 218

198........ Operation of sections 18 and 18A not affected.............................. 220

199........ Failing to notify taking of listed threatened species or listed ecological community               220

200........ Application for permits.................................................................. 221

201........ Minister may issue permits............................................................ 222

202........ Conditions of permits..................................................................... 223

203........ Contravening conditions of a permit.............................................. 223

204........ Authorities under permits.............................................................. 223

205........ Transfer of permits......................................................................... 224

206........ Suspension or cancellation of permits............................................ 224

206A..... Review of decisions about permits................................................. 224

207........ Fees................................................................................................. 225

Subdivision BA—Protecting critical habitat                                                     225

207A..... Register of critical habitat............................................................... 225

207B..... Offence of knowingly damaging critical habitat.............................. 225

207C..... Sale or lease of Commonwealth land containing critical habitat..... 226

Subdivision C—Miscellaneous                                                                             226

208A..... Minister may accredit plans or regimes.......................................... 226

208........ Regulations..................................................................................... 227

Division 2—Migratory species                                                                            228

Subdivision A—Listing                                                                                          228

209........ Listed migratory species................................................................. 228

Subdivision B—Permit system                                                                             229

210........ Subdivision does not apply to members of listed threatened species or cetaceans 229

211........ Recklessly killing or injuring member of listed migratory species.. 229

211A..... Strict liability for killing or injuring member of listed migratory species 229

211B..... Recklessly taking etc. member of listed migratory species............ 230

211C..... Strict liability for taking etc. member of listed migratory species.. 230

211D..... Trading etc. member of listed migratory species taken in Commonwealth area      231

211E...... Strict liability for trading etc. member of listed migratory species taken in Commonwealth area           231

212........ Certain actions are not offences...................................................... 232

213........ Operation of sections 20 and 20A not affected.............................. 233

214........ Failing to notify taking etc. of listed migratory species................. 233

215........ Application for permits.................................................................. 234

216........ Minister may issue permits............................................................ 235

217........ Conditions of permits..................................................................... 236

218........ Contravening conditions of a permit.............................................. 236

219........ Authorities under permits.............................................................. 236

220........ Transfer of permits......................................................................... 237

221........ Suspension or cancellation of permits............................................ 237

221A..... Review of decisions about permits................................................. 237

222........ Fees................................................................................................. 238

Subdivision C—Miscellaneous                                                                             238

222A..... Minister may accredit plans or regimes.......................................... 238

223........ Regulations..................................................................................... 238

Division 3—Whales and other cetaceans                                                       240

Subdivision A—Application of Division                                                              240

224........ Application of Division.................................................................. 240

Subdivision B—Australian Whale Sanctuary                                                   241

225........ Australian Whale Sanctuary........................................................... 241

226........ Prescribed waters............................................................................ 241

227........ Coastal waters................................................................................ 241

228........ Minister may make declaration for coastal waters......................... 242

Subdivision C—Offences                                                                                       242

229........ Recklessly killing or injuring a cetacean.......................................... 242

229A..... Strict liability for killing or injuring a cetacean............................... 243

229B..... Intentionally taking etc. a cetacean................................................. 243

229C..... Strict liability for taking etc. a cetacean.......................................... 244

229D..... Treating an illegally killed or taken cetacean................................... 245

230........ Possession of cetaceans.................................................................. 245

231........ Certain actions are not offences...................................................... 246

232........ Action to be taken on killing etc. cetaceans.................................... 246

Subdivision D—Offences relating to exports and imports                              248

232A..... Export of cetaceans......................................................................... 248

232B..... Import of cetaceans........................................................................ 248

233........ Possession of unlawfully imported cetaceans................................ 248

234........ Treating unlawfully imported cetaceans......................................... 249

235........ Sections 232A, 232B, 233 and 234 do not apply to certain actions 249

Subdivision E—Miscellaneous offences                                                              250

236........ Offences relating to foreign whaling vessels................................... 250

Subdivision F—Permit system                                                                              251

237........ Application for permits.................................................................. 251

238........ Minister may issue permits............................................................ 251

239........ Conditions of permits..................................................................... 253

240........ Contravening conditions of a permit.............................................. 253

241........ Authorities under permits.............................................................. 253

242........ Transfer of permits......................................................................... 254

243........ Suspension or cancellation of permits............................................ 254

243A..... Review of decisions about permits................................................. 254

244........ Fees................................................................................................. 254

Subdivision G—Miscellaneous                                                                             255

245........ Minister may accredit plans or regimes.......................................... 255

246........ Vesting of whales in Commonwealth............................................. 255

247........ Regulations..................................................................................... 256

Division 4—Listed marine species                                                                   257

Subdivision A—Listing                                                                                          257

248........ Listed marine species...................................................................... 257

249........ Minister may amend list................................................................. 257

250........ Adding marine species to the list.................................................... 258

251........ Minister must consider advice from Scientific Committee............. 259

252........ Minister to make lists available to the public................................. 259

Subdivision B—Permit system                                                                             259

253........ Subdivision does not apply to members of certain species and cetaceans              259

254........ Recklessly killing or injuring member of listed marine species....... 260

254A..... Strict liability for killing or injuring member of listed marine species 260

254B..... Recklessly taking etc. member of listed marine species................. 261

254C..... Strict liability for taking etc. member of listed marine species....... 261

254D..... Trading etc. member of listed marine species taken in Commonwealth area           262

254E...... Strict liability for trading etc. member of listed marine species taken in Commonwealth area                262

255........ Certain actions are not offences...................................................... 263

256........ Failing to notify taking etc. of listed marine wildlife...................... 264

257........ Application for permits.................................................................. 265

258........ Minister may issue permits............................................................ 265

259........ Conditions of permits..................................................................... 266

260........ Contravening conditions of a permit.............................................. 267

261........ Authorities under permits.............................................................. 267

262........ Transfer of permits......................................................................... 267

263........ Suspension or cancellation of permits............................................ 268

263A..... Review of decisions about permits................................................. 268

264........ Fees................................................................................................. 268

Subdivision C—Miscellaneous                                                                             268

265........ Minister may accredit plans or regimes.......................................... 268

266........ Regulations..................................................................................... 269

Division 4A—Register for consultations about permits                        270

266A..... Register for consultation about permit applications...................... 270

 


An Act relating to the protection of the environment and the conservation of biodiversity, and for related purposes

Chapter 1Preliminary

Part 1Preliminary

  

1  Short title [see Note 1]

                   This Act may be cited as the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

2  Commencement [see Note 1]

             (1)  Subject to subsection (2), this Act commences on a day to be fixed by Proclamation.

             (2)  If this Act does not commence under subsection (1) within the period of 12 months beginning on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent, it commences on the first day after the end of that period.

3  Objects of Act

             (1)  The objects of this Act are:

                     (a)  to provide for the protection of the environment, especially those aspects of the environment that are matters of national environmental significance; and

                     (b)  to promote ecologically sustainable development through the conservation and ecologically sustainable use of natural resources; and

                     (c)  to promote the conservation of biodiversity; and

                    (ca)  to provide for the protection and conservation of heritage; and

                     (d)  to promote a co-operative approach to the protection and management of the environment involving governments, the community, land-holders and indigenous peoples; and

                     (e)  to assist in the co-operative implementation of Australia’s international environmental responsibilities; and

                      (f)  to recognise the role of indigenous people in the conservation and ecologically sustainable use of Australia’s biodiversity; and

                     (g)  to promote the use of indigenous peoples’ knowledge of biodiversity with the involvement of, and in co-operation with, the owners of the knowledge.

             (2)  In order to achieve its objects, the Act:

                     (a)  recognises an appropriate role for the Commonwealth in relation to the environment by focussing Commonwealth involvement on matters of national environmental significance and on Commonwealth actions and Commonwealth areas; and

                     (b)  strengthens intergovernmental co-operation, and minimises duplication, through bilateral agreements; and

                     (c)  provides for the intergovernmental accreditation of environmental assessment and approval processes; and

                     (d)  adopts an efficient and timely Commonwealth environmental assessment and approval process that will ensure activities that are likely to have significant impacts on the environment are properly assessed; and

                     (e)  enhances Australia’s capacity to ensure the conservation of its biodiversity by including provisions to:

                              (i)  protect native species (and in particular prevent the extinction, and promote the recovery, of threatened species) and ensure the conservation of migratory species; and

                             (ii)  establish an Australian Whale Sanctuary to ensure the conservation of whales and other cetaceans; and

                            (iii)  protect ecosystems by means that include the establishment and management of reserves, the recognition and protection of ecological communities and the promotion of off-reserve conservation measures; and

                            (iv)  identify processes that threaten all levels of biodiversity and implement plans to address these processes; and

                      (f)  includes provisions to enhance the protection, conservation and presentation of world heritage properties and the conservation and wise use of Ramsar wetlands of international importance; and

                    (fa)  includes provisions to identify places for inclusion in the National Heritage List and Commonwealth Heritage List and to enhance the protection, conservation and presentation of those places; and

                     (g)  promotes a partnership approach to environmental protection and biodiversity conservation through:

                              (i)  bilateral agreements with States and Territories; and

                             (ii)  conservation agreements with land-holders; and

                            (iii)  recognising and promoting indigenous peoples’ role in, and knowledge of, the conservation and ecologically sustainable use of biodiversity; and

                            (iv)  the involvement of the community in management planning.

3A  Principles of ecologically sustainable development

                   The following principles are principles of ecologically sustainable development:

                     (a)  decision-making processes should effectively integrate both long-term and short-term economic, environmental, social and equitable considerations;

                     (b)  if there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation;

                     (c)  the principle of inter-generational equity—that the present generation should ensure that the health, diversity and productivity of the environment is maintained or enhanced for the benefit of future generations;

                     (d)  the conservation of biological diversity and ecological integrity should be a fundamental consideration in decision-making;

                     (e)  improved valuation, pricing and incentive mechanisms should be promoted.

4  Act to bind Crown

                   This Act binds the Crown in each of its capacities.

5  Application of Act

Extension to external Territories

             (1)  This Act extends to each external Territory.

Limited extraterritorial application

             (2)  This Act applies to acts, omissions, matters and things in the Australian jurisdiction, and does not apply to acts, omissions, matters and things outside the Australian jurisdiction except so far as the contrary intention appears.

Application limited to Australians outside exclusive economic zone

             (3)  A provision of this Act that has effect in relation to a place that is outside the outer limits of the exclusive economic zone and is not on or in the continental shelf applies only in relation to:

                     (a)  Australian citizens; and

                     (b)  persons who:

                              (i)  are not Australian citizens; and

                             (ii)  hold permanent visas under the Migration Act 1958; and

                            (iii)  are domiciled in Australia or an external Territory; and

                     (c)  corporations incorporated in Australia or an external Territory; and

                     (d)  the Commonwealth; and

                     (e)  Commonwealth agencies; and

                      (f)  Australian aircraft; and

                     (g)  Australian vessels; and

                     (h)  members of crews of Australian aircraft and Australian vessels (including persons in charge of aircraft or vessels).

Application to everyone in Australia and exclusive economic zone

             (4)  A provision of this Act that has effect in relation to a place that is within the outer limits of the exclusive economic zone (whether the place is in the zone or in Australia or an external Territory) or that is on or in the continental shelf applies in relation to:

                     (a)  all persons (including persons who are not Australian citizens); and

                     (b)  all aircraft (including aircraft that are not Australian aircraft); and

                     (c)  all vessels (including vessels that are not Australian vessels).

Note:          A reference to Australia or to an external Territory generally includes a reference to the coastal sea of Australia or the Territory (as appropriate). See section 15B of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

Definitions

             (5)  In this Act:

Australian aircraft means:

                     (a)  an aircraft that is owned, possessed or controlled by:

                              (i)  the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth agency; or

                             (ii)  a State, a self-governing Territory or an agency of a State or self-governing Territory; or

                     (b)  an aircraft that is registered in Australia.

Australian jurisdiction means the land, waters, seabed and airspace in, under or above:

                     (a)  Australia; or

                     (b)  an external Territory; or

                     (c)  the exclusive economic zone; or

                     (d)  the continental shelf.

Note:          A reference to Australia or to an external Territory generally includes a reference to the coastal sea of Australia or the Territory (as appropriate). See section 15B of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

Australian vessel means:

                     (a)  a vessel that is owned, possessed or controlled by:

                              (i)  the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth agency; or

                             (ii)  a State, a self-governing Territory or an agency of a State or self-governing Territory; or

                     (b)  a vessel that is registered in Australia; or

                     (c)  a vessel that is flying the Australian flag.

7  Application of the Criminal Code

                   Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code applies to all offences against this Act.

8  Native title rights not affected

             (1)  To avoid doubt, nothing in this Act affects the operation of section 211 of the Native Title Act 1993 in relation to a provision of this Act.

Note:          Section 211 of the Native Title Act 1993 provides that holders of native title rights covering certain activities do not need authorisation required by other laws to engage in those activities.

             (2)  This Act does not affect the operation of:

                     (a)  the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976; or

                     (b)  the Native Title Act 1993.

9  Relationship with other Acts

Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976

          (1A)  Subsection 70(1) of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 does not prevent a person exercising powers or performing functions or duties under Division 4 or 5 of Part 15, or Division 5 of Part 19, of this Act from entering or remaining on land:

                     (a)  in the Kakadu region or Uluru region; and

                     (b)  in which an Aboriginal Land Trust established under that Act holds an estate in fee simple.

Airports Act 1996 not affected

             (1)  This Act does not affect the operation of the Airports Act 1996.

Antarctic Treaty (Environment Protection) Act 1980 not affected

             (2)  To avoid doubt, nothing in this Act affects the operation of subsection 7(1) of the Antarctic Treaty (Environment Protection) Act 1980 or regulations made for the purposes of that subsection.

10  Relationship with State law

                   This Act is not intended to exclude or limit the concurrent operation of any law of a State or Territory, except so far as the contrary intention appears.


 

Chapter 2Protecting the environment

Part 2Simplified outline of this Chapter

  

11  Simplified outline of this Chapter

                   The following is a simplified outline of this Chapter:

This Chapter provides a basis for the Minister to decide whether an action that has, will have or is likely to have a significant impact on certain aspects of the environment should proceed.

It does so by prohibiting a person from taking an action without the Minister having given approval or decided that approval is not needed. (Part 9 deals with the giving of approval.)

Approval is not needed to take an action if any of the following declare that the action does not need approval:

               (a)     a bilateral agreement between the Commonwealth and the State or Territory in which the action is taken;

               (b)     a declaration by the Minister.

Also, an action does not need approval if it is taken in accordance with Regional Forest Agreements or a plan for managing the Great Barrier Reef.


 

Part 3Requirements for environmental approvals

Division 1Requirements relating to matters of national environmental significance

Subdivision AWorld Heritage

12  Requirement for approval of activities with a significant impact on a declared World Heritage property

             (1)  A person must not take an action that:

                     (a)  has or will have a significant impact on the world heritage values of a declared World Heritage property; or

                     (b)  is likely to have a significant impact on the world heritage values of a declared World Heritage property.

Civil penalty:           

                     (a)  for an individual—5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—50,000 penalty units.

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not apply to an action if:

                     (a)  an approval of the taking of the action by the person is in operation under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (b)  Part 4 lets the person take the action without an approval under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (c)  there is in force a decision of the Minister under Division 2 of Part 7 that this section is not a controlling provision for the action and, if the decision was made because the Minister believed the action would be taken in a manner specified in the notice of the decision under section 77, the action is taken in that manner; or

                     (d)  the action is an action described in subsection 160(2) (which describes actions whose authorisation is subject to a special environmental assessment process).

             (3)  A property has world heritage values only if it contains natural heritage or cultural heritage. The world heritage values of the property are the natural heritage and cultural heritage contained in the property.

             (4)  In this section:

cultural heritage has the meaning given by the World Heritage Convention.

natural heritage has the meaning given by the World Heritage Convention.

13  What is a declared World Heritage property?

Properties on World Heritage List

             (1)  A property included in the World Heritage List is a declared World Heritage property as long as the property is included in the List.

Properties not yet on World Heritage List

             (2)  A property specified in a declaration made under section 14 (with any amendments made under section 15) is a declared World Heritage property for the period for which the declaration is in force.

14  Declaring a property to be a declared World Heritage property

Making declarations

             (1)  The Minister may declare a specified property to be a declared World Heritage property by notice in the Gazette if:

                     (a)  the property is a property submitted by the Commonwealth to the World Heritage Committee under Article 11 of the World Heritage Convention as suitable for inclusion in the World Heritage List; or

                     (b)  the Minister is satisfied that:

                              (i)  the property has, or is likely to have, world heritage values; and

                             (ii)  some or all of the world heritage values of the property are under threat.

Note 1:       The Minister may make more than one declaration relating to the same property. See subsection 33(1) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

Note 2:       The Minister may make an extra declaration to cover property that is an extension of a property previously submitted to the World Heritage Committee.

Consulting State or Territory before making declaration

             (2)  Before the Minister makes a declaration relating to property wholly or partly within a State or self-governing Territory, the Minister must inform the appropriate Minister of the State or Territory of the proposal to make the declaration, and give him or her a reasonable opportunity to comment on the proposal.

Consultation not required if threat is imminent

             (3)  However, the Minister need not comply with subsection (2) if:

                     (a)  he or she proposes to make a declaration in the circumstances described in paragraph (1)(b); and

                     (b)  he or she is satisfied that the threat mentioned in subparagraph (1)(b)(ii) is imminent.

Failure to comply with subsection (2)

             (4)  The validity of a declaration is not affected by a failure to comply with subsection (2) in relation to the making of the declaration.

When a declaration is in force

             (5)  A declaration:

                     (a)  comes into force when it is published in the Gazette; and

                     (b)  remains in force (whether amended under section 15 or not) until the earliest of the following events:

                              (i)  the end of the period specified in the declaration as the period for which the declaration is in force;

                             (ii)  the revocation of the declaration;

                            (iii)  if the declaration specifies a property submitted to the World Heritage Committee for inclusion in the World Heritage List—the Committee either includes the property in the List or decides the property should not be included in the List.

Specified period for which declaration is in force

             (6)  The Minister must specify in a declaration the period for which it is to be in force. The period must not be longer than the period the Minister believes:

                     (a)  the World Heritage Committee needs to decide whether or not to include the property in the World Heritage List, in the case of a declaration specifying a property that has been submitted to the Committee for inclusion in the List; or

                     (b)  the Commonwealth needs to decide whether the property has world heritage values and to submit the property to the World Heritage Committee for inclusion in the World Heritage List, in the case of a declaration specifying a property not yet submitted to the Committee for inclusion in the List.

Declarations because of threat in force for a year or less

             (7)  The Minister must not specify that a declaration of a property is to be in force for more than 12 months if:

                     (a)  the declaration is made in the circumstances described in paragraph (1)(b); and

                     (b)  the property is not a property submitted by the Commonwealth to the World Heritage Committee under Article 11 of the World Heritage Convention as suitable for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

15  Amending or revoking a declaration of a declared World Heritage property

Revoking declarations specifying nominated property

             (1)  The Minister must, by notice in the Gazette, revoke a declaration made under section 14 specifying a property that has been submitted to the World Heritage Committee for inclusion in the World Heritage List if the Commonwealth decides to withdraw the submission of the property for inclusion in the List.

Amending declarations specifying nominated property

             (2)  The Minister must, by notice in the Gazette, amend a declaration made under section 14 specifying a property that has been submitted to the World Heritage Committee for inclusion in the World Heritage List so as to remove from the specification any part of the property that the Commonwealth decides to withdraw from the submission.

Revoking declarations specifying property not yet nominated

             (3)  The Minister must, by notice in the Gazette, revoke a declaration made under section 14 specifying a property that is not submitted to the World Heritage Committee for inclusion in the World Heritage List if:

                     (a)  the Minister is satisfied that the property does not have world heritage values; or

                     (b)  the Commonwealth decides not to submit the property to the Committee for inclusion in the List; or

                     (c)  the Minister is satisfied that none of the world heritage values of the property are under threat.

15A  Offences relating to declared World Heritage properties

             (1)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action results or will result in a significant impact on the world heritage values of a declared World Heritage property.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (2)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is likely to have a significant impact on the world heritage values of a declared World Heritage property and the person is reckless as to that fact.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (3)  An offence against subsection (1) or (2) is punishable on conviction by imprisonment for a term not more than 7 years, a fine not more than 420 penalty units, or both.

Note 1:       Subsection 4B(3) of the Crimes Act 1914 lets a court fine a body corporate up to 5 times the maximum amount the court could fine a person under this subsection.

Note 2:       An executive officer of a body corporate convicted of an offence against this section may also be guilty of an offence against section 495.

             (4)  Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to an action if:

                     (a)  an approval of the taking of the action by the person is in operation under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (b)  Part 4 lets the person take the action without an approval under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (c)  there is in force a decision of the Minister under Division 2 of Part 7 that this section is not a controlling provision for the action and, if the decision was made because the Minister believed the action would be taken in a manner specified in the notice of the decision under section 77, the action is taken in that manner; or

                     (d)  the action is an action described in subsection 160(2) (which describes actions whose authorisation is subject to a special environmental assessment process).

Note:          The defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this subsection. See subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code.

Subdivision AANational Heritage

15B  Requirement for approval of activities with a significant impact on a National Heritage place

             (1)  A constitutional corporation, the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth agency must not take an action that has, will have or is likely to have a significant impact on the National Heritage values of a National Heritage place.

Civil Penalty:          

                     (a)  for an individual—5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—50,000 penalty units.

             (2)  A person must not, for the purposes of trade or commerce:

                     (a)  between Australia and another country; or

                     (b)  between 2 States; or

                     (c)  between a State and Territory; or

                     (d)  between 2 Territories;

take an action that has, will have or is likely to have a significant impact on the National Heritage values of a National Heritage place.

Civil Penalty:          

                     (a)  for an individual—5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—50,000 penalty units.

             (3)  A person must not take an action in:

                     (a)  a Commonwealth area; or

                     (b)  a Territory;

that has, will have or is likely to have a significant impact on the National Heritage values of a National Heritage place.

Civil Penalty:          

                     (a)  for an individual—5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—50,000 penalty units.

             (4)  A person must not take an action that has, will have or is likely to have a significant impact on the National Heritage values, to the extent that they are indigenous heritage values, of a National Heritage place.

Civil Penalty:          

                     (a)  for an individual—5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—50,000 penalty units.

Note:          For indigenous heritage value, see section 528.

             (5)  A person must not take an action that has, will have or is likely to have a significant impact on the National Heritage values of a National Heritage place in an area in respect of which Australia has obligations under Article 8 of the Biodiversity Convention.

Civil Penalty:          

                     (a)  for an individual—5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—50,000 penalty units.

             (6)  Subsection (5) only applies to actions whose prohibition is appropriate and adapted to give effect to Australia’s obligations under Article 8 of the Biodiversity Convention. (However, that subsection may not apply to certain actions because of subsection (8).)

             (7)  A person must not take outside the Australian jurisdiction an action that has, will have or is likely to have a significant impact on the National Heritage values of a National Heritage place outside the Australian jurisdiction.

Civil Penalty:          

                     (a)  for an individual—5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—50,000 penalty units.

             (8)  Subsections (1) to (5) (inclusive) and (7) do not apply to an action if:

                     (a)  an approval of the taking of the action by the constitutional corporation, Commonwealth agency, Commonwealth or person is in operation under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (b)  Part 4 lets the constitutional corporation, Commonwealth agency, Commonwealth or person take the action without an approval under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (c)  there is in force a decision of the Minister under Division 2 of Part 7 that this section is not a controlling provision for the action and, if the decision was made because the Minister believed the action would be taken in a manner specified in the notice of the decision under section 77, the action is taken in that manner; or

                     (d)  the action is an action described in subsection 160(2) (which describes actions whose authorisation is subject to a special environmental assessment process).

15C  Offences relating to National Heritage places

             (1)  A constitutional corporation, or a Commonwealth agency that does not enjoy the immunities of the Commonwealth, is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the corporation or agency takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action results or will result in a significant impact on the National Heritage values of a National Heritage place.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (2)  A constitutional corporation, or a Commonwealth agency that does not enjoy the immunities of the Commonwealth, is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the corporation or agency takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is likely to have a significant impact on the National Heritage values of a National Heritage place; and

                     (c)  the corporation or agency is reckless as to the facts in paragraph (b).

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (3)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is taken for the purposes of trade or commerce:

                              (i)  between Australia and another country; or

                             (ii)  between 2 States; or

                            (iii)  between a State and Territory; or

                            (iv)  between 2 Territories; and

                     (c)  the action results or will result in a significant impact on the National Heritage values of a National Heritage place.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (4)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is taken for the purposes of trade or commerce:

                              (i)  between Australia and another country; or

                             (ii)  between 2 States; or

                            (iii)  between a State and Territory; or

                            (iv)  between 2 Territories; and

                     (c)  the action is likely to have a significant impact on the National Heritage values of a National Heritage place; and

                     (d)  the person is reckless as to the facts in paragraph (c).

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (5)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is taken in:

                              (i)  a Commonwealth area; or

                             (ii)  a Territory; and

                     (c)  the action results or will result in a significant impact on the National Heritage values of a National Heritage place.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (6)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is taken in:

                              (i)  a Commonwealth area; or

                             (ii)  a Territory; and

                     (c)  the action is likely to have a significant impact on the National Heritage values of a National Heritage place; and

                     (d)  the person is reckless as to the facts in paragraph (c).

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (7)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action results or will result in a significant impact on the National Heritage values, to the extent that they are indigenous heritage values, of a National Heritage place.

Note 1:       For indigenous heritage value, see section 528.

Note 2:       Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (8)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is likely to have a significant impact on the National Heritage values, to the extent that they are indigenous heritage values, of a National Heritage place; and

                     (c)  the person is reckless as to the facts in paragraph (b).

Note 1:       For indigenous heritage value, see section 528.

Note 2:       Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (9)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action results or will result in a significant impact on the National Heritage values of a National Heritage place; and

                     (c)  the National Heritage place is in an area in respect of which Australia has obligations under Article 8 of the Biodiversity Convention.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

           (10)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is likely to have a significant impact on the National Heritage values of a National Heritage place; and

                     (c)  the National Heritage place is in an area in respect of which Australia has obligations under Article 8 of the Biodiversity Convention; and

                     (d)  the person is reckless as to the facts in paragraphs (b) and (c).

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

           (11)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is taken outside the Australian jurisdiction; and

                     (c)  the action results or will result in a significant impact on the National Heritage values of a National Heritage place; and

                     (d)  the place is outside the Australian jurisdiction.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

           (12)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is taken outside the Australian jurisdiction; and

                     (c)  the action is likely to have a significant impact on the National Heritage values of a National Heritage place; and

                     (d)  the person is reckless as to the facts in paragraph (c); and

                     (e)  the place is outside the Australian jurisdiction.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

           (13)  An offence against any of subsections (1) to (12) (inclusive) is punishable on conviction by imprisonment for a term not more than 7 years, a fine not more than 420 penalty units, or both.

Note 1:       Subsection 4B(3) of the Crimes Act 1914 lets a court fine a body corporate up to 5 times the maximum amount the court could fine a person under this subsection.

Note 2:       An executive officer of a body corporate convicted of an offence against this section may also be guilty of an offence against section 495.

           (14)  Subsections (9) and (10) only apply to actions whose prohibition is appropriate and adapted to give effect to Australia’s obligations under Article 8 of the Biodiversity Convention. (However, those subsections may not apply to certain actions because of subsection (16).)

           (15)  Section 14.1 (standard geographical jurisdiction) of the Criminal Code does not apply to an offence created by this section.

Note:          Section 5 affects the extra-territorial operation of this section.

           (16)  Subsections (1) to (12) (inclusive) do not apply to an action if:

                     (a)  an approval of the taking of the action by the constitutional corporation, Commonwealth agency or person is in operation under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (b)  Part 4 lets the constitutional corporation, Commonwealth agency or person take the action without an approval under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (c)  there is in force a decision of the Minister under Division 2 of Part 7 that this section is not a controlling provision for the action and, if the decision was made because the Minister believed the action would be taken in a manner specified in the notice of the decision under section 77, the action is taken in that manner; or

                     (d)  the action is an action described in subsection 160(2) (which describes actions whose authorisation is subject to a special environmental assessment process).

Note:          The defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this subsection. See subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code.

Subdivision BWetlands of international importance

16  Requirement for approval of activities with a significant impact on a declared Ramsar wetland

             (1)  A person must not take an action that:

                     (a)  has or will have a significant impact on the ecological character of a declared Ramsar wetland; or

                     (b)  is likely to have a significant impact on the ecological character of a declared Ramsar wetland.

Civil penalty:           

                     (a)  for an individual—5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—50,000 penalty units.

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not apply to an action if:

                     (a)  an approval of the taking of the action by the person is in operation under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (b)  Part 4 lets the person take the action without an approval under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (c)  there is in force a decision of the Minister under Division 2 of Part 7 that this section is not a controlling provision for the action and, if the decision was made because the Minister believed the action would be taken in a manner specified in the notice of the decision under section 77, the action is taken in that manner; or

                     (d)  the action is an action described in subsection 160(2) (which describes actions whose authorisation is subject to a special environmental assessment process).

             (3)  In this Act:

ecological character has the same meaning as in the Ramsar Convention.

17  What is a declared Ramsar wetland?

Areas designated for listing

             (1)  A wetland, or part of a wetland, designated by the Commonwealth under Article 2 of the Ramsar Convention for inclusion in the List of Wetlands of International Importance kept under that Article is a declared Ramsar wetland as long as the wetland or part is not:

                     (a)  excluded by the Commonwealth from the boundaries of a wetland in the List under that Article; or

                     (b)  deleted by the Commonwealth from the List under that Article.

Areas declared by the Minister

             (2)  A wetland, or part of a wetland, is also a declared Ramsar wetland for the period for which a declaration of the wetland as a declared Ramsar wetland is in force.

17A  Making and revoking declarations of wetlands

Declaring threatened wetlands of international importance

             (1)  The Minister may declare a specified wetland to be a declared Ramsar wetland by notice in the Gazette if the Minister is satisfied that:

                     (a)  the wetland is of international significance or is likely to be of international significance because of its ecology, botany, zoology, limnology or hydrology; and

                     (b)  the ecological character of some or all of the wetland is under threat.

Note:          The Minister may make more than one declaration of the same wetland under this section. See subsection 33(1) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

Consulting State or Territory before making declaration

             (2)  Before the Minister makes a declaration relating to a wetland wholly or partly within a State or self-governing Territory, the Minister must inform the appropriate Minister of the State or Territory of the proposal to make the declaration, and give him or her a reasonable opportunity to comment on the proposal.

Consultation not required if threat is imminent

             (3)  However, the Minister need not comply with subsection (2) if he or she is satisfied that the threat mentioned in paragraph (1)(b) is imminent.

Failure to comply with subsection (2)

             (4)  The validity of a declaration is not affected by a failure to comply with subsection (2) in relation to the making of the declaration.

When a declaration is in force

             (5)  A declaration comes into force on the day it is published in the Gazette and remains in force for the period specified in the declaration, unless it is revoked earlier.

Specifying period for which declaration is in force

             (6)  The Minister must specify in a declaration the period for which it is to be in force. The period must not be longer than the shorter of the following periods:

                     (a)  the period the Minister believes the Commonwealth needs to:

                              (i)  decide whether the wetland is of international significance in terms of ecology, botany, zoology, limnology or hydrology; and

                             (ii)  designate the wetland for inclusion in the List of Wetlands of International Importance kept under Article 2 of the Ramsar Convention;

                     (b)  12 months.

Revocation of declaration of threatened wetland

             (7)  The Minister must, by notice in the Gazette, revoke a declaration of a wetland if:

                     (a)  the Minister is satisfied that the wetland is not of international significance because of its ecology, botany, zoology, limnology or hydrology; or

                     (b)  the Minister is satisfied that there is no longer a threat to any part of the wetland.

17B  Offences relating to declared Ramsar wetlands

             (1)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action results or will result in a significant impact on the ecological character of a declared Ramsar wetland.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (2)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is likely to have a significant impact on the ecological character of a declared Ramsar wetland and the person is reckless as to that fact.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (3)  An offence against subsection (1) or (2) is punishable on conviction by imprisonment for a term not more than 7 years, a fine not more than 420 penalty units, or both.

Note 1:       Subsection 4B(3) of the Crimes Act 1914 lets a court fine a body corporate up to 5 times the maximum amount the court could fine a person under this subsection.

Note 2:       An executive officer of a body corporate convicted of an offence against this section may also be guilty of an offence against section 495.

             (4)  Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to an action if:

                     (a)  an approval of the taking of the action by the person is in operation under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (b)  Part 4 lets the person take the action without an approval under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (c)  there is in force a decision of the Minister under Division 2 of Part 7 that this section is not a controlling provision for the action and, if the decision was made because the Minister believed the action would be taken in a manner specified in the notice of the decision under section 77, the action is taken in that manner; or

                     (d)  the action is an action described in subsection 160(2) (which describes actions whose authorisation is subject to a special environmental assessment process).

Note:          The defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this subsection. See subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code.

Subdivision CListed threatened species and communities

18  Actions with significant impact on listed threatened species or endangered community prohibited without approval

Species that are extinct in the wild

             (1)  A person must not take an action that:

                     (a)  has or will have a significant impact on a listed threatened species included in the extinct in the wild category; or

                     (b)  is likely to have a significant impact on a listed threatened species included in the extinct in the wild category.

Civil penalty:           

                     (a)  for an individual—5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—50,000 penalty units.

Critically endangered species

             (2)  A person must not take an action that:

                     (a)  has or will have a significant impact on a listed threatened species included in the critically endangered category; or

                     (b)  is likely to have a significant impact on a listed threatened species included in the critically endangered category.

Civil penalty:           

                     (a)  for an individual—5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—50,000 penalty units.

Endangered species

             (3)  A person must not take an action that:

                     (a)  has or will have a significant impact on a listed threatened species included in the endangered category; or

                     (b)  is likely to have a significant impact on a listed threatened species included in the endangered category.

Civil penalty:           

                     (a)  for an individual—5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—50,000 penalty units.

Vulnerable species

             (4)  A person must not take an action that:

                     (a)  has or will have a significant impact on a listed threatened species included in the vulnerable category; or

                     (b)  is likely to have a significant impact on a listed threatened species included in the vulnerable category.

Civil penalty:           

                     (a)  for an individual—5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—50,000 penalty units.

Critically endangered communities

             (5)  A person must not take an action that:

                     (a)  has or will have a significant impact on a listed threatened ecological community included in the critically endangered category; or

                     (b)  is likely to have a significant impact on a listed threatened ecological community included in the critically endangered category.

Civil penalty:           

                     (a)  for an individual—5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—50,000 penalty units.

Endangered communities

             (6)  A person must not take an action that:

                     (a)  has or will have a significant impact on a listed threatened ecological community included in the endangered category; or

                     (b)  is likely to have a significant impact on a listed threatened ecological community included in the endangered category.

Civil penalty:           

                     (a)  for an individual—5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—50,000 penalty units.

18A  Offences relating to threatened species etc.

             (1)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action results or will result in a significant impact on:

                              (i)  a listed threatened species; or

                             (ii)  a listed threatened ecological community.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (2)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is likely to have a significant impact on:

                              (i)  a listed threatened species; or

                             (ii)  a listed threatened ecological community;

                            and the person is reckless as to that fact.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (3)  An offence against subsection (1) or (2) is punishable on conviction by imprisonment for a term not more than 7 years, a fine not more than 420 penalty units, or both.

Note 1:       Subsection 4B(3) of the Crimes Act 1914 lets a court fine a body corporate up to 5 times the maximum amount the court could fine a person under this subsection.

Note 2:       An executive officer of a body corporate convicted of an offence against this section may also be guilty of an offence against section 495.

             (4)  Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to an action if:

                     (a)  the listed threatened species subject to the significant impact (or likely to be subject to the significant impact) is:

                              (i)  a species included in the extinct category of the list under section 178; or

                             (ii)  a conservation dependent species; or

                     (b)  the listed threatened ecological community subject to the significant impact (or likely to be subject to the significant impact) is an ecological community included in the vulnerable category of the list under section 181.

Note 1:       The defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this subsection. See subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code.

Note 2:       Section 19 sets out other defences. The defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in that section too. See subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code.

19  Certain actions relating to listed threatened species and listed threatened ecological communities not prohibited

             (1)  A subsection of section 18 or 18A relating to a listed threatened species does not apply to an action if an approval of the taking of the action by the person is in operation under Part 9 for the purposes of any subsection of that section that relates to a listed threatened species.

             (2)  A subsection of section 18 or 18A relating to a listed threatened ecological community does not apply to an action if an approval of the taking of the action by the person is in operation under Part 9 for the purposes of either subsection of that section that relates to a listed threatened ecological community.

             (3)  A subsection of section 18 or 18A does not apply to an action if:

                     (a)  Part 4 lets the person take the action without an approval under Part 9 for the purposes of the subsection; or

                     (b)  there is in force a decision of the Minister under Division 2 of Part 7 that the subsection is not a controlling provision for the action and, if the decision was made because the Minister believed the action would be taken in a manner specified in the notice of the decision under section 77, the action is taken in that manner; or

                     (c)  the action is an action described in subsection 160(2) (which describes actions whose authorisation is subject to a special environmental assessment process).

Subdivision DListed migratory species

20  Requirement for approval of activities with a significant impact on a listed migratory species

             (1)  A person must not take an action that:

                     (a)  has or will have a significant impact on a listed migratory species; or

                     (b)  is likely to have a significant impact on a listed migratory species.

Civil penalty:           

                     (a)  for an individual—5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—50,000 penalty units.

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not apply to an action if:

                     (a)  an approval of the taking of the action by the person is in operation under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (b)  Part 4 lets the person take the action without an approval under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (c)  there is in force a decision of the Minister under Division 2 of Part 7 that this section is not a controlling provision for the action and, if the decision was made because the Minister believed the action would be taken in a manner specified in the notice of the decision under section 77, the action is taken in that manner; or

                     (d)  the action is an action described in subsection 160(2) (which describes actions whose authorisation is subject to a special environmental assessment process).

20A  Offences relating to listed migratory species

             (1)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action results or will result in a significant impact on a listed migratory species.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (2)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is likely to have a significant impact on a listed migratory species and the person is reckless as to that fact.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (3)  An offence against subsection (1) or (2) is punishable on conviction by imprisonment for a term not more than 7 years, a fine not more than 420 penalty units, or both.

Note 1:       Subsection 4B(3) of the Crimes Act 1914 lets a court fine a body corporate up to 5 times the maximum amount the court could fine a person under this subsection.

Note 2:       An executive officer of a body corporate convicted of an offence against this section may also be guilty of an offence against section 495.

             (4)  Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to an action if:

                     (a)  an approval of the taking of the action by the person is in operation under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (b)  Part 4 lets the person take the action without an approval under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (c)  there is in force a decision of the Minister under Division 2 of Part 7 that this section is not a controlling provision for the action and, if the decision was made because the Minister believed the action would be taken in a manner specified in the notice of the decision under section 77, the action is taken in that manner; or

                     (d)  the action is an action described in subsection 160(2) (which describes actions whose authorisation is subject to a special environmental assessment process).

Note:          The defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this subsection. See subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code.

Subdivision EProtection of the environment from nuclear actions

21  Requirement for approval of nuclear actions

             (1)  A constitutional corporation, the Commonwealth or Commonwealth agency must not take a nuclear action that has, will have or is likely to have a significant impact on the environment.

Civil penalty:           

                     (a)  for an individual—5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—50,000 penalty units.

             (2)  A person must not, for the purposes of trade or commerce:

                     (a)  between Australia and another country; or

                     (b)  between 2 States; or

                     (c)  between a State and a Territory; or

                     (d)  between 2 Territories;

take a nuclear action that has, will have or is likely to have a significant impact on the environment.

Civil penalty:           

                     (a)  for an individual—5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—50,000 penalty units.

             (3)  A person must not take in a Territory a nuclear action that has, will have or is likely to have a significant impact on the environment.

Civil penalty:           

                     (a)  for an individual—5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—50,000 penalty units.

             (4)  Subsections (1), (2) and (3) do not apply to an action if:

                     (a)  an approval of the taking of the action by the constitutional corporation, Commonwealth agency, Commonwealth or person is in operation under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (b)  Part 4 lets the constitutional corporation, Commonwealth agency, Commonwealth or person take the action without an approval under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (c)  there is in force a decision of the Minister under Division 2 of Part 7 that this section is not a controlling provision for the action and, if the decision was made because the Minister believed the action would be taken in a manner specified in the notice of the decision under section 77, the action is taken in that manner; or

                     (d)  the action is an action described in subsection 160(2) (which describes actions whose authorisation is subject to a special environmental assessment process).

22  What is a nuclear action?

             (1)  In this Act:

nuclear action means any of the following:

                     (a)  establishing or significantly modifying a nuclear installation;

                     (b)  transporting spent nuclear fuel or radioactive waste products arising from reprocessing;

                     (c)  establishing or significantly modifying a facility for storing radioactive waste products arising from reprocessing;

                     (d)  mining or milling uranium ore;

                     (e)  establishing or significantly modifying a large-scale disposal facility for radioactive waste;

                      (f)  de-commissioning or rehabilitating any facility or area in which an activity described in paragraph (a), (b), (c), (d) or (e) has been undertaken;

                     (g)  any other action prescribed by the regulations.

nuclear installation means any of the following:

                     (a)  a nuclear reactor for research or production of nuclear materials for industrial or medical use (including critical and sub-critical assemblies);

                     (b)  a plant for preparing or storing fuel for use in a nuclear reactor as described in paragraph (a);

                     (c)  a nuclear waste storage or disposal facility with an activity that is greater than the activity level prescribed by regulations made for the purposes of this section;

                     (d)  a facility for production of radioisotopes with an activity that is greater than the activity level prescribed by regulations made for the purposes of this section.

Note:          A nuclear waste storage or disposal facility could include a facility for storing spent nuclear fuel, depending on the regulations.

radioactive waste means radioactive material for which no further use is foreseen.

reprocessing means a process or operation to extract radioactive isotopes from spent nuclear fuel for further use.

spent nuclear fuel means nuclear fuel that has been irradiated in a nuclear reactor core and permanently removed from the core.

             (2)  In this Act:

large-scale disposal facility for radioactive waste means, if regulations are made for the purposes of this definition, a facility prescribed by the regulations.

22A  Offences relating to nuclear actions

             (1)  A constitutional corporation, or a Commonwealth agency that does not enjoy the immunities of the Commonwealth, is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the corporation or agency takes a nuclear action; and

                     (b)  the nuclear action results or will result in a significant impact on the environment.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (2)  A constitutional corporation, or a Commonwealth agency that does not enjoy the immunities of the Commonwealth, is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the corporation or agency takes a nuclear action; and

                     (b)  the nuclear action is likely to have a significant impact on the environment and the corporation or agency is reckless as to that fact.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (3)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes a nuclear action; and

                     (b)  the nuclear action is taken for the purposes of trade or commerce:

                              (i)  between Australia and another country; or

                             (ii)  between 2 States; or

                            (iii)  between a State and a Territory; or

                            (iv)  between 2 Territories; and

                     (c)  the nuclear action results or will result in a significant impact on the environment.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (4)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes a nuclear action; and

                     (b)  the nuclear action is taken for the purposes of trade or commerce:

                              (i)  between Australia and another country; or

                             (ii)  between 2 States; or

                            (iii)  between a State and a Territory; or

                            (iv)  between 2 Territories; and

                     (c)  the nuclear action is likely to have a significant impact on the environment and the person is reckless as to that fact.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (5)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes a nuclear action; and

                     (b)  the nuclear action is taken in a Territory; and

                     (c)  the nuclear action results or will result in a significant impact on the environment.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (6)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes a nuclear action; and

                     (b)  the nuclear action is taken in a Territory; and

                     (c)  the nuclear action is likely to have a significant impact on the environment and the person is reckless as to that fact.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (7)  An offence against subsection (1), (2), (3), (4), (5) or (6) is punishable on conviction by imprisonment for a term not more than 7 years, a fine not more than 420 penalty units, or both.

Note 1:       Subsection 4B(3) of the Crimes Act 1914 lets a court fine a body corporate up to 5 times the maximum amount the court could fine a person under this subsection.

Note 2:       An executive officer of a body corporate convicted of an offence against this section may also be guilty of an offence against section 495.

             (8)  Subsections (1), (2), (3), (4), (5) and (6) do not apply to an action if:

                     (a)  an approval of the taking of the action by the person is in operation under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (b)  Part 4 lets the person take the action without an approval under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (c)  there is in force a decision of the Minister under Division 2 of Part 7 that this section is not a controlling provision for the action and, if the decision was made because the Minister believed the action would be taken in a manner specified in the notice of the decision under section 77, the action is taken in that manner; or

                     (d)  the action is an action described in subsection 160(2) (which describes actions whose authorisation is subject to a special environmental assessment process).

Note:          The defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this subsection. See subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code.

Subdivision FMarine environment

23  Requirement for approval of activities involving the marine environment

Actions in Commonwealth marine areas affecting the environment

             (1)  A person must not take in a Commonwealth marine area an action that has, will have or is likely to have a significant impact on the environment.

Civil penalty:           

                     (a)  for an individual—5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—50,000 penalty units.

Actions outside Commonwealth marine areas affecting those areas

             (2)  A person must not take outside a Commonwealth marine area but in the Australian jurisdiction an action that:

                     (a)  has or will have a significant impact on the environment in a Commonwealth marine area; or

                     (b)  is likely to have a significant impact on the environment in a Commonwealth marine area.

Civil penalty:           

                     (a)  for an individual—5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—50,000 penalty units.

Fishing in State or Territory waters managed by Commonwealth

             (3)  A person must not take in the coastal waters (as defined in the Fisheries Management Act 1991) of a State or the Northern Territory an action:

                     (a)  that:

                              (i)  is fishing (as defined in the Fisheries Management Act 1991); and

                             (ii)  is included in the class of activities forming a fishery (as defined in that Act) that is managed under the law of the Commonwealth as a result of an agreement made under section 71 or 72 of that Act before the commencement of this section; and

                     (b)  that:

                              (i)  has or will have a significant impact on the environment in those coastal waters; or

                             (ii)  is likely to have a significant impact on the environment in those coastal waters.

Civil penalty:           

                     (a)  for an individual—5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—50,000 penalty units.

Exceptions to prohibitions

             (4)  Subsection (1), (2) or (3) does not apply to an action if:

                     (a)  an approval of the taking of the action by the person is in operation under Part 9 for the purposes of the subsection; or

                     (b)  Part 4 lets the person take the action without an approval under Part 9 for the purposes of the subsection; or

                     (c)  there is in force a decision of the Minister under Division 2 of Part 7 that the subsection is not a controlling provision for the action and, if the decision was made because the Minister believed the action would be taken in a manner specified in the notice of the decision under section 77, the action is taken in that manner; or

                     (d)  the person taking the action is the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth agency; or

                     (e)  the action is an action described in subsection 160(2) (which describes actions whose authorisation is subject to a special environmental assessment process).

Note:          Section 28 regulates actions by the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth agency with a significant impact on the environment.

Exception—fishing in Commonwealth waters managed by State

             (5)  Subsection (1) does not apply to an action if the action:

                     (a)  is fishing (as defined in the Fisheries Management Act 1991); and

                     (b)  is included in the class of activities forming a fishery (as defined in that Act) that is managed under the law of a State or the Northern Territory as a result of an agreement made under section 71 or 72 of that Act before the commencement of this section; and

                     (c)  is permitted under a law of the State or Territory.

Exception—fishing outside Commonwealth marine areas

             (6)  Subsection (2) does not apply to an action that:

                     (a)  is fishing (as defined in the Fisheries Management Act 1991); and

                     (b)  is permitted under a law of a State or self-governing Territory.

24  What is a Commonwealth marine area?

                   Each of the following is a Commonwealth marine area:

                     (a)  any waters of the sea inside the seaward boundary of the exclusive economic zone, except:

                              (i)  waters, rights in respect of which have been vested in a State by section 4 of the Coastal Waters (State Title) Act 1980 or in the Northern Territory by section 4 of the Coastal Waters (Northern Territory Title) Act 1980; and

                             (ii)  waters within the limits of a State or the Northern Territory;

                     (b)  the seabed under waters covered by paragraph (a);

                     (c)  airspace over waters covered by paragraph (a);

                     (d)  any waters over the continental shelf, except:

                              (i)  waters, rights in respect of which have been vested in a State by section 4 of the Coastal Waters (State Title) Act 1980 or in the Northern Territory by section 4 of the Coastal Waters (Northern Territory Title) Act 1980; and

                             (ii)  waters within the limits of a State or the Northern Territory; and

                            (iii)  waters covered by paragraph (a);

                     (e)  any seabed under waters covered by paragraph (d);

                      (f)  any airspace over waters covered by paragraph (d).

24A  Offences relating to marine areas

Actions in Commonwealth marine areas affecting the environment

             (1)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is taken in a Commonwealth marine area; and

                     (c)  the action results or will result in a significant impact on the environment.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

Actions in Commonwealth marine areas likely to affect the environment

             (2)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is taken in a Commonwealth marine area; and

                     (c)  the action is likely to have a significant impact on the environment and the person is reckless as to that fact.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

Actions outside Commonwealth marine areas affecting those areas

             (3)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is taken outside a Commonwealth marine area but in the Australian jurisdiction; and

                     (c)  the action results or will result in a significant impact on the environment in a Commonwealth marine area.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

Actions likely to affect environment in Commonwealth marine areas

             (4)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is taken outside a Commonwealth marine area but in the Australian jurisdiction; and

                     (c)  the action is likely to have a significant impact on the environment in a Commonwealth marine area and the person is reckless as to that fact.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

Fishing with impact in State or Territory waters managed by Commonwealth

             (5)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action that:

                              (i)  is fishing (as defined in the Fisheries Management Act 1991); and

                             (ii)  is included in the class of activities forming a fishery (as defined in that Act) that is managed under the law of the Commonwealth as a result of an agreement made under section 71 or 72 of that Act before the commencement of this section; and

                     (b)  the action is taken in the coastal waters (as defined in the Fisheries Management Act 1991) of a State or the Northern Territory; and

                     (c)  the action results or will result in a significant impact on the environment in those coastal waters.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

Fishing with likely impact in State or Territory waters managed by Commonwealth

             (6)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action that:

                              (i)  is fishing (as defined in the Fisheries Management Act 1991); and

                             (ii)  is included in the class of activities forming a fishery (as defined in that Act) that is managed under the law of the Commonwealth as a result of an agreement made under section 71 or 72 of that Act before the commencement of this section; and

                     (b)  the action is taken in the coastal waters (as defined in the Fisheries Management Act 1991) of a State or the Northern Territory; and

                     (c)  the action is likely to have a significant impact on the environment in those coastal waters and the person is reckless as to that fact.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

Penalties

             (7)  An offence against subsection (1), (2), (3), (4), (5) or (6) is punishable on conviction by imprisonment for a term not more than 7 years, a fine not more than 420 penalty units, or both.

Note 1:       Subsection 4B(3) of the Crimes Act 1914 lets a court fine a body corporate up to 5 times the maximum amount the court could fine a person under this subsection.

Note 2:       An executive officer of a body corporate convicted of an offence against this section may also be guilty of an offence against section 495.

Defences—general

             (8)  Subsection (1), (2), (3), (4), (5) or (6) does not apply to an action if:

                     (a)  an approval of the taking of the action by the person is in operation under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (b)  Part 4 lets the person take the action without an approval under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (c)  there is in force a decision of the Minister under Division 2 of Part 7 that the subsection is not a controlling provision for the action and, if the decision was made because the Minister believed the action would be taken in a manner specified in the notice of the decision under section 77, the action is taken in that manner; or

                     (d)  the action is an action described in subsection 160(2) (which describes actions whose authorisation is subject to a special environmental assessment process).

Note:          The defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this subsection. See subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code.

Defence—fishing in Commonwealth waters managed by State

             (9)  Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to an action if the action:

                     (a)  is fishing (as defined in the Fisheries Management Act 1991); and

                     (b)  is included in the class of activities forming a fishery (as defined in that Act) that is managed under the law of a State or the Northern Territory as a result of an agreement made under section 71 or 72 of that Act before the commencement of this section; and

                     (c)  is permitted under a law of the State or Territory.

Note:          The defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this subsection. See subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code.

Defence—fishing outside Commonwealth marine areas

           (10)  Subsections (3) and (4) do not apply to an action that:

                     (a)  is fishing (as defined in the Fisheries Management Act 1991); and

                     (b)  is permitted under a law of a State or self-governing Territory.

Note:          The defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this subsection. See subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code.

Subdivision GAdditional matters of national environmental significance

25  Requirement for approval of prescribed actions

             (1)  A person must not take an action that is prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this subsection.

Civil penalty:           

                     (a)  for an individual—5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—50,000 penalty units.

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not apply to an action if:

                     (a)  an approval of the taking of the action by the person is in operation under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (b)  Part 4 lets the person take the action without an approval under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (c)  there is in force a decision of the Minister under Division 2 of Part 7 that this section is not a controlling provision for the action and, if the decision was made because the Minister believed the action would be taken in a manner specified in the notice of the decision under section 77, the action is taken in that manner; or

                     (d)  the action is an action described in subsection 160(2) (which describes actions whose authorisation is subject to a special environmental assessment process).

             (3)  Before the Governor-General makes regulations prescribing an action for the purposes of subsection (1), the Minister (the Environment Minister) must:

                     (a)  inform the appropriate Minister of each State and self-governing Territory of the proposal to prescribe:

                              (i)  the action; and

                             (ii)  a thing as matter protected by this section in relation to the action; and

                     (b)  invite the appropriate Minister of each State and self-governing Territory to give the Environment Minister comments on the proposal within a specified period of at least 28 days; and

                     (c)  consider the comments (if any); and

                     (d)  if comments have been given as described in paragraph (b)—take all reasonable steps to consult the appropriate Minister of each State and self-governing Territory with a view to agreeing on:

                              (i)  the action to be prescribed; and

                             (ii)  the thing to be prescribed as matter protected by this section in relation to the action.

Note:          Section 34 provides that the matter protected by this section is a thing prescribed by the regulations in relation to the action.

          (3A)  To avoid doubt, regulations may be made for the purposes of this section even if no agreement is reached on the matters described in paragraph (3)(d).

             (4)  The regulations may prescribe different things as matter protected by this section in relation to different actions prescribed for the purposes of subsection (1).

             (5)  This section applies only to actions:

                     (a)  taken in a Territory or a place acquired by the Commonwealth for public purposes (within the meaning of section 52 of the Constitution); or

                     (b)  taken in a Commonwealth marine area; or

                     (c)  taken for the purpose of trade or commerce:

     &