Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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Act No. 91 of 1999 as amended, taking into account amendments up to Aboriginal Land Rights and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2013
An Act relating to the protection of the environment and the conservation of biodiversity, and for related purposes
Administered by: Environment
Registered 19 Sep 2013
Start Date 29 Jun 2013
End Date 26 Mar 2014

Commonwealth Coat of Arms

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

No. 91, 1999 as amended

Compilation start date:                     29 June 2013

Includes amendments up to:            Act No. 93, 2013

This compilation has been split into 2 volumes

Volume 1:                   sections 1–266

Volume 2:                   sections 266B–528

                                    Schedule

                                    Endnotes

Each volume has its own contents

About this compilation

This compilation

This is a compilation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 as in force on 29 June 2013. It includes any commenced amendment affecting the legislation to that date.

This compilation was prepared on 17 September 2013.

The notes at the end of this compilation (the endnotes) include information about amending laws and the amendment history of each amended provision.

Uncommenced amendments

The effect of uncommenced amendments is not reflected in the text of the compiled law but the text of the amendments is included in the endnotes.

Application, saving and transitional provisions for provisions and amendments

If the operation of a provision or amendment is affected by an application, saving or transitional provision that is not included in this compilation, details are included in the endnotes.

Modifications

If a provision of the compiled law is affected by a modification that is in force, details are included in the endnotes.

Provisions ceasing to have effect

If a provision of the compiled law has expired or otherwise ceased to have effect in accordance with a provision of the law, details are included in the endnotes.

  

  

  


Contents

Chapter 1—Preliminary                                                                                         1

Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                                             1

1............ Short title............................................................................................. 1

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 1

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

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

4............ Act to bind Crown.............................................................................. 3

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

6............ Extended application of Act to match extended management of fisheries under the Fisheries Management Act 1991............................................................................................................ 6

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

8............ Native title rights not affected.............................................................. 7

9............ Relationship with other Acts............................................................... 8

10.......... Relationship with State law................................................................. 8

Chapter 2—Protecting the environment                                                9

Part 2—Simplified outline of this Chapter                                                             9

11.......... Simplified outline of this Chapter........................................................ 9

Part 3—Requirements for environmental approvals                                     10

Division 1—Requirements relating to matters of national environmental significance                10

Subdivision A—World Heritage                                                                          10

12.......... Requirement for approval of activities with a significant impact on a declared World Heritage property 10

13.......... What is a declared World Heritage property?.................................. 11

14.......... Declaring a property to be a declared World Heritage property......... 11

15.......... Amending or revoking a declaration of a declared World Heritage property            13

15A....... Offences relating to declared World Heritage properties................... 14

Subdivision AA—National Heritage                                                                   15

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

15C....... Offences relating to National Heritage places.................................... 17

Subdivision B—Wetlands of international importance                                 22

16.......... Requirement for approval of activities with a significant impact on a declared Ramsar wetland               22

17.......... What is a declared Ramsar wetland?................................................ 23

17A....... Making and revoking declarations of wetlands................................. 24

17B....... Offences relating to declared Ramsar wetlands................................. 25

Subdivision C—Listed threatened species and communities                         27

18.......... Actions with significant impact on listed threatened species or endangered community prohibited without approval.......................................................................................................... 27

18A....... Offences relating to threatened species etc........................................ 28

19.......... Certain actions relating to listed threatened species and listed threatened ecological communities not prohibited     30

Subdivision D—Listed migratory species                                                          31

20.......... Requirement for approval of activities with a significant impact on a listed migratory species 31

20A....... Offences relating to listed migratory species..................................... 31

20B....... Certain actions relating to listed migratory species not prohibited..... 33

Subdivision E—Protection of the environment from nuclear actions        33

21.......... Requirement for approval of nuclear actions..................................... 33

22.......... What is a nuclear action?.................................................................. 34

22A....... Offences relating to nuclear actions................................................... 35

Subdivision F—Marine environment                                                                  38

23.......... Requirement for approval of activities involving the marine environment                38

24.......... What is a Commonwealth marine area?........................................... 40

24A....... Offences relating to marine areas...................................................... 40

Subdivision FA—Great Barrier Reef Marine Park                                        45

24B....... Requirement for approval of activities in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park          45

24C....... Offences relating to Great Barrier Reef Marine Park........................ 46

Subdivision FB—Protection of water resources from coal seam gas development and large coal mining development                                                                                 48

24D....... Requirement for approval of developments with a significant impact on water resources        48

24E........ Offences relating to water resources................................................. 50

Subdivision G—Additional matters of national environmental significance 52

25.......... Requirement for approval of prescribed actions................................ 52

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

25A....... Actions that are taken to be covered by this Division........................ 54

Subdivision HA—Limitation on liability for actions of third parties        55

25AA.... Limitation on liability for actions of third parties............................... 55

Subdivision I—Evidentiary certificates                                                             56

25B....... Evidentiary certificates...................................................................... 56

25C....... Certificate to be given to person........................................................ 57

25D....... Evidentiary effect of certificate.......................................................... 57

25E........ Variation of certificate....................................................................... 57

25F........ Revocation of certificate.................................................................... 58

Division 2—Protection of the environment from proposals involving the Commonwealth        59

Subdivision A—Protection of environment from actions involving Commonwealth land         59

26.......... Requirement for approval of activities involving Commonwealth land 59

27.......... What is Commonwealth land?.......................................................... 60

27A....... Offences relating to Commonwealth land......................................... 60

Subdivision AA—Protection of Commonwealth Heritage places outside the Australian jurisdiction     62

27B....... Requirement for approval of actions with significant impact on Commonwealth Heritage places overseas             62

27C....... Offences relating to Commonwealth Heritage places overseas......... 63

Subdivision B—Protection of the environment from Commonwealth actions               65

28.......... Requirement for approval of activities of Commonwealth agencies significantly affecting the environment            65

Subdivision C—Actions that are taken to be covered by this Division       66

28AA.... Actions that are taken to be covered by this Division........................ 66

Subdivision D—Limitation on liability for actions of third parties            67

28AB.... Limitation on liability for actions of third parties............................... 67

Part 4—Cases in which environmental approvals are not needed        69

Division 1—Actions covered by bilateral agreements                              69

29.......... Actions declared by agreement not to need approval......................... 69

30.......... Extended operation in State and Northern Territory waters............... 70

31.......... Extended operation in non‑self‑governing Territories....................... 70

Division 2—Actions covered by Ministerial declarations and accredited management arrangements or accredited authorisation processes                                           72

Subdivision A—Effect of declarations                                                               72

32.......... Actions declared by Minister not to need approval........................... 72

Subdivision B—Making declarations                                                                 73

33.......... Making declaration that actions do not need approval under Part 9... 73

34.......... What is matter protected by a provision of Part 3?........................... 77

Subdivision C—Prerequisites for making declarations                                 79

34A....... Minister may only make declaration if prescribed criteria are met..... 79

34B....... Declarations relating to declared World Heritage properties.............. 79

34BA.... Declarations relating to National Heritage places.............................. 80

34C....... Declarations relating to declared Ramsar wetlands............................ 80

34D....... Declarations relating to listed threatened species and ecological communities          81

34E........ Declarations relating to migratory species......................................... 82

34F........ Declarations relating to Commonwealth Heritage places................... 83

Subdivision D—Other rules about declarations                                               83

35.......... Revoking declarations....................................................................... 83

36.......... Other rules about declarations........................................................... 84

36A....... Minor amendments of accredited management arrangement or accredited authorisation process             84

Division 3—Actions covered by Ministerial declarations and bioregional plans             86

Subdivision A—Effect of declarations                                                               86

37.......... Actions declared by Minister not to need approval........................... 86

Subdivision B—Making declarations                                                                 86

37A....... Making declarations that actions do not need approval under Part 9. 86

Subdivision C—Prerequisites for making declarations                                 87

37B....... General considerations...................................................................... 87

37C....... Minister may make declaration only if prescribed criteria are met..... 87

37D....... Declarations relating to declared World Heritage properties.............. 87

37E........ Declarations relating to National Heritage places.............................. 88

37F........ Declarations relating to declared Ramsar wetlands............................ 88

37G....... Declarations relating to listed threatened species and ecological communities          88

37H....... Declarations relating to listed migratory species................................ 89

37J........ No declarations relating to nuclear actions........................................ 89

Subdivision D—Other rules about declarations                                               90

37K....... Revoking declarations....................................................................... 90

37L........ Other rules about declarations........................................................... 90

Division 3A—Actions covered by conservation agreements                 91

37M...... Actions declared by conservation agreement not to need approval.... 91

Division 4—Forestry operations in certain regions                                   92

Subdivision A—Regions covered by regional forest agreements                92

38.......... Part 3 not to apply to certain RFA forestry operations...................... 92

Subdivision B—Regions subject to a process of negotiating a regional forest agreement          92

39.......... Object of this Subdivision................................................................. 92

40.......... Forestry operations in regions not yet covered by regional forest agreements          92

41.......... What is an RFA region?.................................................................... 94

Subdivision C—Limits on application                                                                95

42.......... This Division does not apply to some forestry operations................ 95

Division 5—Actions in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park               96

43.......... Actions taken in accordance with zoning plan................................... 96

Division 6Actions with prior authorisation                                                97

43A....... Actions with prior authorisation........................................................ 97

43B....... Actions which are lawful continuations of use of land etc................ 98

Chapter 3—Bilateral agreements                                                                99

Part 5—Bilateral agreements                                                                                        99

Division 1—Object of Part                                                                                      99

44.......... Object of this Part............................................................................. 99

Division 2—Making bilateral agreements                                                     100

Subdivision A—Power to make bilateral agreements                                  100

45.......... Minister may make agreement......................................................... 100

46.......... Agreement may declare actions do not need approval under Part 9. 101

47.......... Agreement may declare classes of actions do not need assessment. 105

48.......... Other provisions of bilateral agreements......................................... 106

48A....... Mandatory provisions..................................................................... 107

49.......... Certain limits on scope of bilateral agreements................................ 109

Subdivision B—Prerequisites for making bilateral agreements               109

49A....... Consultation on draft agreement...................................................... 109

50.......... Minister may only enter into agreement if prescribed criteria are met 110

51.......... Agreements relating to declared World Heritage properties............ 110

51A....... Agreements relating to National Heritage places............................. 111

52.......... Agreements relating to declared Ramsar wetlands.......................... 111

53.......... Agreements relating to listed threatened species and ecological communities           112

54.......... Agreements relating to migratory species........................................ 113

55.......... Agreements relating to nuclear actions............................................ 114

56.......... Agreements relating to prescribed actions....................................... 114

Subdivision C—Minor amendments of bilateral agreements                     114

56A....... Ministerial determination of minor amendments to bilateral agreements.. 114

Division 3—Suspending and ending the effect of bilateral agreements  116

Subdivision A—Suspension and cancellation of effect                                 116

57.......... Representations about suspension or cancellation........................... 116

58.......... Consultation before cancellation or suspension............................... 117

59.......... Suspension or cancellation.............................................................. 117

60.......... Emergency suspension of effect of bilateral agreement................... 119

61.......... Cancellation during suspension....................................................... 120

62.......... Revocation of notice of suspension or cancellation......................... 120

63.......... Cancellation or suspension at request of other party....................... 121

64.......... Cancellation or suspension of bilateral agreement does not affect certain actions     122

Subdivision B—Expiry of bilateral agreements                                            122

65.......... Expiry and review of bilateral agreements....................................... 122

65A....... Expiry of bilateral agreement does not affect certain actions........... 123

Chapter 4—Environmental assessments and approvals  124

Part 6—Simplified outline of this Chapter                                                         124

66.......... Simplified outline of this Chapter.................................................... 124

Part 7—Deciding whether approval of actions is needed                          126

Division 1—Referral of proposals to take action                                      126

67.......... What is a controlled action?............................................................ 126

67A....... Prohibition on taking controlled action without approval................ 126

68.......... Referral by person proposing to take action.................................... 126

68A....... Actions proposed to be taken under a contract etc........................... 127

69.......... State or Territory may refer proposal to Minister............................ 128

70.......... Minister may request referral of proposal....................................... 128

71.......... Commonwealth agency may refer proposal to Minister.................. 129

72.......... Form and content of referrals.......................................................... 130

73.......... Informing person proposing to take action of referral..................... 130

73A....... Informing Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority of proposal affecting Great Barrier Reef Marine Park          130

74.......... Inviting provision of information on referred proposal................... 130

74A....... Minister may request referral of a larger action............................... 133

74AA.... Offence of taking action before decision made in relation to referral etc.  133

Division 1A—Decision that action is clearly unacceptable                  136

74B....... Application of this Division............................................................ 136

74C....... Informing person proposing to take action that action is clearly unacceptable          136

74D....... Procedure if Minister is requested to reconsider referral................. 137

Division 2—Ministerial decision whether action needs approval     139

75.......... Does the proposed action need approval?....................................... 139

76.......... Minister may request more information for making decisions........ 141

77.......... Notice and reasons for decision...................................................... 142

77A....... Action to be taken in a particular manner........................................ 143

Division 3—Reconsideration of decisions                                                      145

78.......... Reconsideration of decision............................................................ 145

78A....... Request for reconsideration of decision by person other than State or Territory Minister        148

78B....... Minister must inform interested persons of request and invite comments                149

78C....... Minister must reconsider decision and give notice of outcome....... 150

79.......... Reconsideration of decision on request by a State or Territory....... 151

Part 8—Assessing impacts of controlled actions                                             153

Division 1—Simplified outline of this Part                                                     153

80.......... Simplified outline of this Part.......................................................... 153

Division 2—Application of this Part                                                                 154

81.......... Application...................................................................................... 154

82.......... What are the relevant impacts of an action?.................................... 154

83.......... This Part does not apply if action covered by bilateral agreement... 155

84.......... This Part does not apply if action covered by declaration................ 156

Division 3—Decision on assessment approach                                            158

Subdivision A—Simplified outline of this Division                                       158

85.......... Simplified outline of this Division.................................................. 158

Subdivision B—Deciding on approach for assessment                                 158

87.......... Minister must decide on approach for assessment.......................... 158

88.......... Timing of decision on assessment approach................................... 160

89.......... Minister may request more information for making decision.......... 161

90.......... Directing an inquiry after starting an assessment............................ 161

91.......... Notice of decision on assessment approach.................................... 162

Division 3A—Assessment on referral information                                   164

92.......... Application of this Division............................................................ 164

93.......... Recommendation report.................................................................. 164

Division 4—Assessment on preliminary documentation                        166

94.......... Application of this Division............................................................ 166

95.......... Direction to publish referral information and invitation to comment—no further information required    166

95A....... Direction to publish referral information and invitation to comment—further information required         167

95B....... Procedure after end of period for comment..................................... 168

95C....... Recommendation report.................................................................. 169

Division 5—Public environment reports                                                        170

96.......... Application...................................................................................... 170

96A....... Minister must give designated proponent written guidelines for preparation of draft public environment report     170

96B....... Standard guidelines......................................................................... 171

97.......... Tailored guidelines.......................................................................... 171

98.......... Designated proponent must invite comment on draft public environment report      173

99.......... Finalising public environment report............................................... 174

100........ Recommendation report.................................................................. 174

Division 6—Environmental impact statements                                           176

101........ Application...................................................................................... 176

101A..... Minister must give designated proponent written guidelines for preparation of draft environmental impact statement........................................................................................................ 176

101B..... Standard guidelines......................................................................... 177

102........ Tailored guidelines.......................................................................... 177

103........ Designated proponent must invite comment on draft environmental impact statement             179

104........ Finalising environmental impact statement...................................... 180

105........ Recommendation report.................................................................. 181

Division 7—Inquiries                                                                                                182

Subdivision A—Preliminary                                                                               182

106........ Simplified outline............................................................................ 182

Subdivision B—Establishment of inquiries                                                     182

107........ Appointing commissioners and setting terms of reference.............. 182

108........ Publicising inquiry.......................................................................... 184

Subdivision C—Conduct of inquiries                                                                184

109........ Procedure of inquiries..................................................................... 184

110........ Inquiry to be public......................................................................... 184

111........ Calling witnesses............................................................................ 185

112........ Dealing with witnesses................................................................... 186

113........ Dealing with documents given to commission................................ 187

114........ Inspections of land, buildings and places........................................ 187

115........ Entering premises by consent.......................................................... 188

116........ Entering premises under warrant..................................................... 189

117........ Warrants by telephone or other electronic means............................ 189

118........ Identity cards................................................................................... 191

119........ Contempt......................................................................................... 191

120........ Protection of commissioners and witnesses.................................... 192

Subdivision D—Inquiry reports                                                                         194

121........ Timing of report.............................................................................. 194

122........ Publication of report........................................................................ 194

Subdivision E—Commissioners’ terms and conditions                                194

123........ Basis of appointment....................................................................... 194

124........ Remuneration.................................................................................. 195

125........ Leave of absence............................................................................. 195

126........ Resignation..................................................................................... 195

127........ Termination of appointment............................................................ 195

128........ Disclosure of interests..................................................................... 196

129........ Other terms and conditions............................................................. 197

Part 9—Approval of actions                                                                                        198

Division 1—Decisions on approval and conditions                                   198

Subdivision A—General                                                                                       198

130........ Timing of decision on approval....................................................... 198

131........ Inviting comments from other Ministers before decision................ 200

131AA.. Inviting comments before decision from person proposing to take action and designated proponent       200

131AB.. Minister must obtain advice from Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development................................................................................... 202

131A..... Inviting public comment before decision......................................... 203

132........ Requesting further information for approval decision..................... 203

132A..... Requesting notice from appropriate State or Territory Minister about certain actions               204

133........ Grant of approval............................................................................ 205

134........ Conditions of approval.................................................................... 208

135........ Certain approvals and conditions must not give preference............. 211

135A..... Publication of recommendation reports........................................... 212

Subdivision B—Considerations for approvals and conditions                   213

136........ General considerations.................................................................... 213

137........ Requirements for decisions about World Heritage.......................... 215

137A..... Requirements for decisions about National Heritage places............ 215

138........ Requirements for decisions about Ramsar wetlands....................... 216

139........ Requirements for decisions about threatened species and endangered communities 216

140........ Requirements for decisions about migratory species....................... 216

140A..... No approval for certain nuclear installations................................... 217

Division 2—Requirement to comply with conditions                               218

142........ Compliance with conditions on approval........................................ 218

142A..... Offence of breaching conditions on approval.................................. 218

142B..... Strict liability offence for breach of approval condition................... 219

Division 3—Variation of conditions and suspension and revocation of approvals          221

143........ Variation of conditions attached to approval................................... 221

144........ Suspension of approval................................................................... 223

145........ Revocation of approval................................................................... 224

145A..... Reinstating suspended or revoked approval.................................... 226

Division 4—Transfer of approvals                                                                    228

145B..... Transfer with Minister’s consent.................................................... 228

Division 5—Extension of period of effect of approval                            230

145C..... Application to Minister to extend period of effect of approval........ 230

145D..... Minister must decide whether or not to extend approval period...... 230

145E...... Minister may request further information for making decision....... 231

Part 10—Strategic assessments                                                                                  232

Division 1—Strategic assessments generally                                               232

Subdivision A—Assessment of actions to be taken in accordance with policy, plan or program              232

146........ Minister may agree on strategic assessment.................................... 232

Subdivision B—Approval of taking of actions in accordance with endorsed policy, plan or program   234

146A..... Definition........................................................................................ 234

146B..... Minister may approve taking of actions in accordance with endorsed policy, plan or program                234

146C..... Inviting comments from other Ministers before deciding whether or not to approve taking of actions in accordance with endorsed policy, plan or program.................................................... 235

146D..... Effect of approval of taking of actions in accordance with endorsed policy, plan or program  236

Subdivision C—Considerations for approving taking of actions in accordance with endorsed policy, plan or program                                                                                      237

146E...... Minister must comply with this Subdivision................................... 237

146F...... General considerations.................................................................... 237

146G..... Approvals relating to declared World Heritage properties............... 238

146H..... Approvals relating to National Heritage places............................... 238

146J...... Approvals relating to declared Ramsar wetlands............................. 238

146K..... Approvals relating to listed threatened species and ecological communities             238

146L...... Approvals relating to listed migratory species................................. 239

146M.... No approvals relating to nuclear actions.......................................... 239

Division 2—Assessment of Commonwealth‑managed fisheries         240

147........ Simplified outline of this Division.................................................. 240

148........ Assessment before management plan is determined........................ 240

149........ Assessment before determination that no plan required.................. 241

150........ Assessment of all fisheries without plans must be started within 5 years 241

151........ Assessment of all Torres Strait fisheries to be started within 5 years 242

152........ Further assessment if impacts greater than previously assessed...... 243

153........ Minister must make declaration if he or she endorses plan or policy 244

154........ This Division does not limit Division 1.......................................... 244

Part 11—Miscellaneous rules about assessments and approvals          245

Division 1—Rules about timing                                                                           245

155........ This Chapter ceases to apply to lapsed proposals............................ 245

156........ General rules about time limits........................................................ 245

Division 1A—Variation of proposals to take actions                              247

156A..... Request to vary proposal to take an action...................................... 247

156B..... Minister must decide whether or not to accept a varied proposal.... 248

156C..... Minister may request further information in relation to a varied proposal                248

156D..... Effect of Minister’s decision to accept or not accept a varied proposal 249

156E...... Notice of decision........................................................................... 249

Division 1B—Change of person proposing to take action                    251

156F...... Change of person proposing to take action..................................... 251

Division 2—Actions in area offshore from a State or the Northern Territory 253

157........ Actions treated as though they were in a State or the Northern Territory 253

Division 3—Exemptions                                                                                          254

158........ Exemptions from Part 3 and this Chapter........................................ 254

Division 3A—Approval process decisions not affected by listing events that happen after section 75 decision made                                                                                      255

158A..... Approval process decisions not affected by listing events that happen after section 75 decision made    255

Division 4—Application of Chapter to actions that are not controlled actions 258

Subdivision A—Minister’s advice on authorising actions                           258

159........ Simplified outline of this Subdivision............................................. 258

160........ Requirement to take account of Minister’s advice........................... 259

161........ Seeking the Minister’s advice......................................................... 261

161A..... Minister may decide that advice is not required............................... 262

161B..... Certain provisions of other Acts not to apply if Minister decides that advice is not required   262

162........ Assessment of the action................................................................. 263

163........ Providing advice............................................................................. 263

164........ Reporting on response to advice..................................................... 264

Subdivision C—Assessment under agreement with State or Territory    264

166........ This Subdivision applies if Ministers agree it should...................... 264

167........ Making an agreement...................................................................... 265

168........ Content of an agreement.................................................................. 266

169........ Application of a Division of Part 8................................................. 267

170........ Application of Subdivision A of Division 1 of Part 10................... 268

Division 5—Publication of information relating to assessments        270

170A..... Publication of information relating to assessments.......................... 270

170B..... Information critical to protecting matters of national environmental significance not to be disclosed       271

170BA.. Designated proponent may request Minister to permit commercial‑in‑confidence information not to be disclosed  271

Division 6—Withdrawal of referrals                                                               274

170C..... Withdrawal of referral of proposal to take an action........................ 274

Chapter 5—Conservation of biodiversity and heritage    275

Part 11A—Interpretation                                                                                              275

170D..... References to business days are references to Canberra business days 275

Part 12—Identifying and monitoring biodiversity and making bioregional plans             276

Division 1—Identifying and monitoring biodiversity                              276

171........ Identifying and monitoring biodiversity.......................................... 276

172........ Inventories of listed threatened species etc. on Commonwealth land 277

173........ Surveys of cetaceans, listed threatened species etc. in Commonwealth marine areas                277

174........ Inventories and surveys to be updated............................................ 278

Division 2—Bioregional plans                                                                              279

176........ Bioregional plans............................................................................ 279

177........ Obligations under this Act unaffected by lack of bioregional plans 280

Part 13—Species and communities                                                                          281

Division 1—Listed threatened species and ecological communities 281

Subdivision A—Listing                                                                                         281

178........ Listing of threatened species........................................................... 281

179........ Categories of threatened species...................................................... 282

180........ Native species of marine fish.......................................................... 283

181........ Listing of threatened ecological communities.................................. 283

182........ Critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable communities...... 284

183........ Listing of key threatening processes............................................... 285

184........ Minister may amend lists................................................................ 285

186........ Amending list of threatened native species...................................... 285

187........ Amending list of ecological communities........................................ 287

188........ Amending list of key threatening processes.................................... 288

189........ Minister must consider advice from Scientific Committee.............. 289

189A..... Certain information may be kept confidential.................................. 290

189B..... Disclosure of Scientific Committee’s assessments and advice........ 291

190........ Scientific Committee may provide advice about species or communities becoming threatened                292

192........ Rediscovery of threatened species that were extinct........................ 293

193........ Species posing a serious threat to human health.............................. 293

194........ Lists must be publicly available....................................................... 293

Subdivision AA—The nomination and listing process                                  294

194A..... Simplified outline............................................................................ 294

194B..... Definitions...................................................................................... 295

194C..... Meaning of assessment period....................................................... 295

194D..... Minister may determine conservation themes for an assessment period 296

194E...... Minister to invite nominations for each assessment period............. 296

194F...... Minister to give nominations to Scientific Committee..................... 297

194G..... Scientific Committee to prepare proposed priority assessment list.. 299

194H..... Matters to be included in proposed priority assessment list............ 300

194J...... Statement to be given to Minister with proposed priority assessment list 300

194K..... The finalised priority assessment list............................................... 301

194L...... Publication of finalised priority assessment list............................... 302

194M.... Scientific Committee to invite comments on items in finalised priority assessment list            302

194N..... Scientific Committee to assess items on finalised priority assessment list and give assessments to Minister           303

194P...... Time by which assessments to be provided to Minister.................. 304

194Q..... Decision about inclusion of an item in the Subdivision A List........ 305

194R..... Scientific Committee may obtain advice.......................................... 306

194S...... Co‑ordination with Australian Heritage Council—Committee undertaking assessment           306

194T...... Co‑ordination with Australian Heritage Council—Committee given assessment to Minister   308

Subdivision B—Permit system                                                                            308

195........ Subdivision does not apply to cetaceans......................................... 308

196........ Killing or injuring member of listed threatened species or community 309

196A..... Strict liability for killing or injuring member of listed threatened species or community          309

196B..... Taking etc. member of listed threatened species or community....... 310

196C..... Strict liability for taking etc. member of listed threatened species or community      310

196D..... Trading etc. member of listed threatened species or community taken in Commonwealth area                311

196E...... Strict liability for trading etc. member of listed threatened species or community taken in Commonwealth area      311

197........ Certain actions are not offences....................................................... 312

198........ Operation of sections 18 and 18A not affected............................... 314

199........ Failing to notify taking of listed threatened species or listed ecological community 314

200........ Application for permits................................................................... 316

201........ Minister may issue permits............................................................. 316

202........ Conditions of permits...................................................................... 317

203........ Contravening conditions of a permit............................................... 318

204........ Authorities under permits................................................................ 318

205........ Transfer of permits.......................................................................... 319

206........ Suspension or cancellation of permits............................................. 319

206A..... Review of decisions about permits.................................................. 319

207........ Fees................................................................................................. 319

Subdivision BA—Protecting critical habitat                                                   319

207A..... Register of critical habitat................................................................ 319

207B..... Offence of knowingly damaging critical habitat.............................. 320

207C..... Sale or lease of Commonwealth land containing critical habitat...... 321

Subdivision C—Miscellaneous                                                                            321

208A..... Minister may accredit plans, regimes or policies............................. 321

208........ Regulations..................................................................................... 322

Division 2—Migratory species                                                                            324

Subdivision A—Listing                                                                                         324

209........ Listed migratory species.................................................................. 324

Subdivision B—Permit system                                                                            325

210........ Subdivision does not apply to members of listed threatened species or cetaceans    325

211........ Killing or injuring member of listed migratory species.................... 325

211A..... Strict liability for killing or injuring member of listed migratory species  325

211B..... Taking etc. member of listed migratory species............................... 326

211C..... Strict liability for taking etc. member of listed migratory species.... 326

211D..... Trading etc. member of listed migratory species taken in Commonwealth area        327

211E...... Strict liability for trading etc. member of listed migratory species taken in Commonwealth area              327

212........ Certain actions are not offences....................................................... 328

213........ Operation of sections 20 and 20A not affected............................... 331

214........ Failing to notify taking etc. of listed migratory species................... 331

215........ Application for permits................................................................... 332

216........ Minister may issue permits............................................................. 333

217........ Conditions of permits...................................................................... 334

218........ Contravening conditions of a permit............................................... 334

219........ Authorities under permits................................................................ 334

220........ Transfer of permits.......................................................................... 335

221........ Suspension or cancellation of permits............................................. 335

221A..... Review of decisions about permits.................................................. 335

222........ Fees................................................................................................. 335

Subdivision C—Miscellaneous                                                                            336

222A..... Minister may accredit plans, regimes or policies............................. 336

223........ Regulations..................................................................................... 337

Division 3—Whales and other cetaceans                                                       338

Subdivision A—Application of Division                                                           338

224........ Application of Division................................................................... 338

Subdivision B—Australian Whale Sanctuary and important cetacean habitat areas  339

225........ Australian Whale Sanctuary............................................................ 339

226........ Prescribed waters............................................................................ 339

227........ Coastal waters................................................................................. 340

228........ Minister may make declaration for coastal waters........................... 340

228A..... Important cetacean habitat areas...................................................... 340

Subdivision C—Offences                                                                                      341

229........ Killing or injuring a cetacean........................................................... 341

229A..... Strict liability for killing or injuring a cetacean................................ 341

229B..... Intentionally taking etc. a cetacean................................................... 342

229C..... Strict liability for taking etc. a cetacean............................................ 343

229D..... Treating cetaceans........................................................................... 344

230........ Possession of cetaceans.................................................................. 345

231........ Certain actions are not offences....................................................... 346

232........ Action to be taken on killing etc. cetaceans..................................... 347

Subdivision E—Miscellaneous offences                                                           349

236........ Offences relating to foreign whaling vessels................................... 349

Subdivision F—Permit system                                                                            350

237........ Application for permits................................................................... 350

238........ Minister may issue permits............................................................. 350

239........ Conditions of permits...................................................................... 352

240........ Contravening conditions of a permit............................................... 352

241........ Authorities under permits................................................................ 352

242........ Transfer of permits.......................................................................... 353

243........ Suspension or cancellation of permits............................................. 353

243A..... Review of decisions about permits.................................................. 353

244........ Fees................................................................................................. 354

Subdivision G—Miscellaneous                                                                           354

245........ Minister may accredit plans, regimes or policies............................. 354

246........ Vesting of whales in Commonwealth............................................. 355

247........ Regulations..................................................................................... 355

Division 4—Listed marine species                                                                     357

Subdivision A—Listing                                                                                         357

248........ Listed marine species...................................................................... 357

249........ Minister may amend list.................................................................. 357

250........ Adding marine species to the list..................................................... 358

251........ Minister must consider advice from Scientific Committee.............. 358

252........ Minister to make lists available to the public................................... 359

Subdivision B—Permit system                                                                            359

253........ Subdivision does not apply to members of certain species and cetaceans 359

254........ Killing or injuring member of listed marine species........................ 359

254A..... Strict liability for killing or injuring member of listed marine species 360

254B..... Taking etc. member of listed marine species................................... 360

254C..... Strict liability for taking etc. member of listed marine species......... 361

254D..... Trading etc. member of listed marine species taken in Commonwealth area             361

254E...... Strict liability for trading etc. member of listed marine species taken in Commonwealth area  362

255........ Certain actions are not offences....................................................... 362

256........ Failing to notify taking etc. of listed marine wildlife....................... 365

257........ Application for permits................................................................... 366

258........ Minister may issue permits............................................................. 366

259........ Conditions of permits...................................................................... 367

260........ Contravening conditions of a permit............................................... 368

261........ Authorities under permits................................................................ 368

262........ Transfer of permits.......................................................................... 368

263........ Suspension or cancellation of permits............................................. 369

263A..... Review of decisions about permits.................................................. 369

264........ Fees................................................................................................. 369

Subdivision C—Miscellaneous                                                                            369

265........ Minister may accredit plans, regimes or policies............................. 369

266........ Regulations..................................................................................... 370

 


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

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

2  Commencement

             (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.

6  Extended application of Act to match extended management of fisheries under the Fisheries Management Act 1991

             (1)  This section applies if:

                     (a)  under the Fisheries Management Act 1991, a plan of management in force under that Act applies to particular fishing activities in a particular area of water; and

                     (b)  the area of water is not within, or is not wholly within:

                              (i)  the Australian jurisdiction; or

                             (ii)  a Commonwealth area; or

                            (iii)  a Commonwealth marine area; and

                     (c)  the area of water is not:

                              (i)  an area of water, 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; or

                             (ii)  an area of water within the limits of a State or the Northern Territory.

             (2)  If, apart from this subsection, a provision of this Act would, or would not, apply in relation to the fishing activities (or in relation to fish or other things taken in the course of the activities) because the area of water mentioned in subsection (1) is not within, or is not wholly within:

                     (a)  the Australian jurisdiction; or

                     (b)  a Commonwealth area; or

                     (c)  a Commonwealth marine area;

that provision has effect in relation to the fishing activities (and in relation to fish or other things taken in the course of the activities) as if the area of water were wholly within:

                     (d)  the Australian jurisdiction; or

                     (e)  a Commonwealth area; or

                      (f)  a Commonwealth marine area;

as the case requires.

Note:          This section is subject to subsection 5(3).

Example 1: Fishing activities in an area of water that is not a Commonwealth area generally do not contravene Part 13. However, because of this subsection, that Part applies to fishing activities to which this section applies as if the area of water were within a Commonwealth area. The fishing activities may therefore contravene that Part.

Example 2: If fish taken in the course of fishing activities in an area of water that is not within the Australian jurisdiction are brought into Australia, this generally constitutes an import (being an import by way of introduction from the sea) of the fish into Australia, which may contravene Part 13A. However, because of this subsection, that Part applies to the fish as if the area of water were within the Australian jurisdiction. The bringing of the fish into Australia therefore does not constitute an import for the purposes of that Part.

Example 3: This section allows a plan of management to be accredited under Part 13 in respect of the entire area of water to which the plan relates (even if some of the area is outside the Australian jurisdiction, a Commonwealth area or a Commonwealth marine area).

             (3)  In this section:

fishing has the same meaning as in the Fisheries Management Act 1991.

7  Application of the Criminal Code

                   Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code (except Part 2.5) applies to all offences against this Act.

Note 1:       Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

Note 2:       Part 2.5 of the Criminal Code (which deals with corporate criminal responsibility) is excluded from applying to offences against this Act by subsection 498B(9).

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 it is for a purpose for which, under a zoning plan for a zone made under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975, the zone may be used or entered without permission.

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 property; and

                     (c)  the property is a declared World Heritage property.

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

          (1A)  Strict liability applies to paragraph (1)(c).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

             (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 property; and

                     (c)  the property is a declared World Heritage property.

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

          (2A)  Strict liability applies to paragraph (2)(c).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

             (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.

Note 3:       If a person takes an action on land that contravenes this section, a landholder may be guilty of an offence against section 496C.

             (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).)

             (8)  Subsections (1) to (5) (inclusive) 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 heritage values of a place; and

                     (c)  the heritage values are National Heritage values of the place; and

                     (d)  the place is a National Heritage place.

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

          (1A)  Strict liability applies to paragraphs (1)(c) and (d).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

             (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 heritage values of a place; and

                     (c)  the heritage values are National Heritage values of the place; and

                     (d)  the place is a National Heritage place.

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

          (2A)  Strict liability applies to paragraphs (2)(c) and (d).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

             (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 heritage values of a place; and

                     (d)  the heritage values are National Heritage values of the place; and

                     (e)  the place is a National Heritage place.

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

          (3A)  Strict liability applies to paragraphs (3)(d) and (e).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

             (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 heritage values of a place; and

                     (d)  the heritage values are National Heritage values of the place; and

                     (e)  the place is a National Heritage place.

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

          (4A)  Strict liability applies to paragraphs (4)(d) and (e).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

             (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 heritage values of a place; and

                     (d)  the heritage values are National Heritage values of the place; and

                     (e)  the place is a National Heritage place.

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

          (5A)  Strict liability applies to paragraphs (5)(d) and (e).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

             (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 heritage values of a place; and

                     (d)  the heritage values are National Heritage values of the place; and

                     (e)  the place is a National Heritage place.

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

          (6A)  Strict liability applies to paragraphs (6)(d) and (e).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

             (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 heritage values, to the extent that they are indigenous heritage values, of a place; and

                     (c)  the heritage values are National Heritage values of the place; and

                     (d)  the place is 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.

          (7A)  Strict liability applies to paragraphs (7)(c) and (d).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

             (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 heritage values, to the extent that they are indigenous heritage values, of a place; and

                     (c)  the heritage values are National Heritage values of the place; and

                     (d)  the place is 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.

          (8A)  Strict liability applies to paragraphs (8)(c) and (d).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

             (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 heritage values of a place; and

                   (ba)  the heritage values are National Heritage values of the place; and

                   (bb)  the place is 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.

          (9A)  Strict liability applies to paragraphs (9)(ba), (bb) and (c).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

           (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 heritage values of a place; and

                   (ba)  the heritage values are National Heritage values of the place; and

                   (bb)  the place is 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.

        (10A)  Strict liability applies to paragraphs (10)(ba), (bb) and (c).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

           (13)  An offence against any of subsections (1) to (10) (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.

Note 3:       If a person takes an action on land that contravenes this section, a landholder may be guilty of an offence against section 496C.

           (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).)

           (16)  Subsections (1) to (10) (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 wetland; and

                     (c)  the wetland is a declared Ramsar wetland.

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

          (1A)  Strict liability applies to paragraph (1)(c).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

             (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 wetland; and

                     (c)  the wetland is a declared Ramsar wetland.

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

          (2A)  Strict liability applies to paragraph (2)(c).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

             (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.

Note 3:       If a person takes an action on land that contravenes this section, a landholder may be guilty of an offence against section 496C.

             (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 species; or

                             (ii)  an ecological community; and

                     (c)  the species is a listed threatened species, or the community is a listed threatened ecological community.

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

          (1A)  Strict liability applies to paragraph (1)(c).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

             (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 species; or

                             (ii)  an ecological community; and

                     (c)  the species is a listed threatened species, or the community is a listed threatened ecological community.

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

          (2A)  Strict liability applies to paragraph (2)(c).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

             (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.

Note 3:       If a person takes an action on land that contravenes this section, a landholder may be guilty of an offence against section 496C.

             (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).

             (4)  A subsection of section 18 or 18A does not apply to an action, to the extent that it is covered by subsection 517A(7).

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 species; and

                     (c)  the species is a listed migratory species.

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

          (1A)  Strict liability applies to paragraph (1)(c).

Note:          For strict liability , see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

             (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 species; and

                     (c)  the species is a listed migratory species.

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

          (2A)  Strict liability applies to paragraph (2)(c).

Note:          For strict liability , see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

             (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.

Note 3:       If a person takes an action on land that contravenes this section, a landholder may be guilty of an offence against section 496C.

             (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.

20B  Certain actions relating to listed migratory species not prohibited

                   A subsection of section 20 or 20A does not apply to an action, to the extent that it is covered by subsection 517A(7).

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.

Note 3:       If a person takes an action on land that contravenes this section, a landholder may be guilty of an offence against section 496C.

             (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);

                     (g)  any other area of sea or seabed that is included in a Commonwealth reserve.

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.

          (1A)  Strict liability applies to paragraph (1)(b).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

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.

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

          (2A)  Strict liability applies to paragraph (2)(b).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

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 an area; and

                     (d)  the area is a Commonwealth marine area.

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

          (3A)  Strict liability applies to paragraphs (3)(b) and (d).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

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 an area; and

                     (d)  the area is a Commonwealth marine area.

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

          (4A)  Strict liability applies to paragraphs (4)(b) and (d).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

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.

          (5A)  Strict liability applies to paragraph (5)(b).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

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.

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

          (6A)  Strict liability applies to paragraph (6)(b).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

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.

Note 3:       If a person takes an action on land that contravenes this section, a landholder may be guilty of an offence against section 496C.

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 FAGreat Barrier Reef Marine Park

24B  Requirement for approval of activities in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

Actions in Great Barrier Reef Marine Park affecting the environment

             (1)  A person must not take in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park 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 Great Barrier Reef Marine Park affecting the environment in the Marine Park

             (2)  A person must not take outside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park but in the Australian jurisdiction an action that:

                     (a)  has or will have a significant impact on the environment in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park; or

                     (b)  is likely to have a significant impact on the environment in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Civil penalty:

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

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

Exceptions to prohibition

             (3)  Subsection (1) or (2) 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.

24C  Offences relating to Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

Actions in Great Barrier Reef Marine Park affecting the environment

             (1)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is taken in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park; and

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

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 7 years or 420 penalty units, or both.

             (2)  Strict liability applies to paragraph (1)(b).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

Actions in Great Barrier Reef Marine Park likely to affect the environment

             (3)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is taken in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park; and

                     (c)  the action is likely to have a significant impact on the environment.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 7 years or 420 penalty units, or both.

             (4)  Strict liability applies to paragraph (3)(b).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

Actions outside Great Barrier Reef Marine Park affecting environment in the Marine Park

             (5)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is taken outside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park but in the Australian jurisdiction; and

                     (c)  the action results in or will result in a significant impact on the environment in an area; and

                     (d)  the area is the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 7 years or 420 penalty units, or both.

             (6)  Strict liability applies to paragraphs (5)(b) and (d).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

Actions outside Great Barrier Reef Marine Park likely to affect environment in the Marine Park

             (7)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is taken outside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park but in the Australian jurisdiction; and

                     (c)  the action is likely to have a significant impact on the environment in an area; and

                     (d)  the area is the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 7 years or 420 penalty units, or both.

             (8)  Strict liability applies to paragraphs (7)(b) and (d).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

Defences

             (9)  Subsection (1), (3), (5) or (7) 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:          The defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this subsection. See subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code.

Subdivision FBProtection of water resources from coal seam gas development and large coal mining development

24D  Requirement for approval of developments with a significant impact on water resources

             (1)  A constitutional corporation, the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth agency must not take an action if:

                     (a)  the action involves:

                              (i)  coal seam gas development; or

                             (ii)  large coal mining development; and

                     (b)  the action:

                              (i)  has or will have a significant impact on a water resource; or

                             (ii)  is likely to have a significant impact on a water resource.

Civil penalty:

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

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

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

                     (a)  the action involves:

                              (i)  coal seam gas development; or

                             (ii)  large coal mining development; 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:

                              (i)  has or will have a significant impact on a water resource; or

                             (ii)  is likely to have a significant impact on a water resource.

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 if:

                     (a)  the action involves:

                              (i)  coal seam gas development; or

                             (ii)  large coal mining development; and

                     (b)  the action is taken in:

                              (i)  a Commonwealth area; or

                             (ii)  a Territory; and

                     (c)  the action:

                              (i)  has or will have a significant impact on a water resource; or

                             (ii)  is likely to have a significant impact on a water resource.

Civil penalty:

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

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

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

                     (a)  an approval of the taking of the action by the constitutional corporation, Commonwealth, 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, 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).

             (5)  A person who wishes to rely on subsection (4) in proceedings for a contravention of a civil penalty provision bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in that subsection.

24E  Offences relating to water resources

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

                     (a)  the corporation or agency takes an action involving:

                              (i)  coal seam gas development; or

                             (ii)  large coal mining development; and

                     (b)  the action:

                              (i)  results or will result in a significant impact on a water resource; or

                             (ii)  is likely to have a significant impact on a water resource.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 7 years or 420 penalty units, or both.

Note 1:       An executive officer of a body corporate convicted of an offence against this subsection may also commit an offence against section 495.

Note 2:       If a person takes an action on land that contravenes this subsection, a landholder may commit an offence against section 496C.

             (2)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action involving:

                              (i)  coal seam gas development; or

                             (ii)  large coal mining development; 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:

                              (i)  has or will have a significant impact on a water resource; or

                             (ii)  is likely to have a significant impact on a water resource.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 7 years or 420 penalty units, or both.

Note 1:       An executive officer of a body corporate convicted of an offence against this subsection may also commit an offence against section 495.

Note 2:       If a person takes an action on land that contravenes this subsection, a landholder may commit an offence against section 496C.

             (3)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an action involving:

                              (i)  coal seam gas development; or

                             (ii)  large coal mining development; and

                     (b)  the action is taken in:

                              (i)  a Commonwealth area; or

                             (ii)  a Territory; and

                     (c)  the action:

                              (i)  has or will have a significant impact on a water resource; or

                             (ii)  is likely to have a significant impact on a water resource.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 7 years or 420 penalty units, or both.

Note 1:       An executive officer of a body corporate convicted of an offence against this subsection may also commit an offence against section 495.

Note 2:       If a person takes an action on land that contravenes this subsection, a landholder may commit an offence against section 496C.

             (4)  Subsections (1) to (3) 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 subsection (4). 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:

                              (i)  between Australia and another country; or

                             (ii)  between 2 States; or

                            (iii)  between a State and a Territory; or

                            (iv)  between 2 Territories; or

                     (d)  taken by a constitutional corporation; or

                     (e)  whose regulation is appropriate and adapted to give effect to Australia’s obligations under an agreement with one or more other countries.

             (6)  Regulations prescribing an action whose regulation is appropriate and adapted to give effect to Australia’s obligations under an agreement with one or more countries must specify the agreement.

Subdivision HActions that are taken to be covered by this Division

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

             (1)  The regulations may provide that a specified action is taken to be an action to which a specified regulatory provision applies.

Note:          For specification by class, see subsection 13(3) of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

             (2)  To avoid doubt, if, as a result of a regulation made for the purposes of subsection (1), a regulatory provision applies to an action, the action is taken to be described in the provision.

             (3)  Regulations made for the purposes of subsection (1) may only specify actions:

                     (a)  taken in a Territory; or

                     (b)  taken in a Commonwealth marine area; or

                     (c)  taken for the purpose 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; or

                     (d)  taken by a constitutional corporation; or

                     (e)  whose regulation is appropriate and adapted to give effect to Australia’s obligations under an agreement with one or more other countries.

             (4)  Regulations specifying an action whose regulation is appropriate and adapted to give effect to Australia’s obligations under an agreement with one or more countries must specify the agreement.

             (5)  In this section:

regulatory provision means:

                     (a)  a civil penalty provision set out in this Division; or

                     (b)  a provision of this Division that creates an offence.

Subdivision HALimitation on liability for actions of third parties

25AA  Limitation on liability for actions of third parties

             (1)  A provision mentioned in subsection (2) or (3) does not apply to an action (the primary action) if:

                     (a)  a person (the primary person) takes the action; and

                     (b)  as a consequence of the primary action, another person (the secondary person) takes another action (the secondary action); and

                     (c)  the secondary action is not taken at the direction or request of the primary person; and

                     (d)  the significant impact referred to in the provision is a consequence of the secondary action.

Defence to offences

             (2)  For the purposes of subsection (1), the following provisions do not apply to the primary action:

                     (a)  subsections 15A(1) and (2);

                     (b)  subsections 15C(1) to (10);

                     (c)  subsections 17B(1) and (2);

                     (d)  subsections 18A(1) and (2);

                     (e)  subsections 20A(1) and (2);

                      (f)  subsections 22A(1) to (6);

                     (g)  subsections 24A(1) to (6);

                     (h)  subsections 24C(1), (3), (5) and (7);

                      (i)  subsections 24E(1) to (3).

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

Exception to civil penalties

             (3)  For the purposes of subsection (1), the following provisions do not apply to the primary action:

                     (a)  subsection 12(1);

                     (b)  subsections 15B(1) to (5) and (7);

                     (c)  subsection 16(1);

                     (d)  subsections 18(1) to (6);

                     (e)  subsection 20(1);

                      (f)  subsections 21(1) to (3);

                     (g)  subsections 23(1) to (3);

                    (ga)  subsections 24B(1) and (2);

                   (gb)  subsections 24D(1) to (3);

                     (h)  subsection 25(1).

Subdivision IEvidentiary certificates

25B  Evidentiary certificates

Contravention

             (1)  The Minister may issue a written certificate:

                     (a)  stating that a specified person has contravened, or is contravening, a specified civil penalty provision set out in this Division; and

                     (b)  setting out particulars of that contravention.

             (2)  The Minister may issue a certificate under subsection (1) relating to a particular contravention if the Minister has reason to believe that the person concerned has committed, or is committing, the contravention.

             (3)  To avoid doubt, a certificate under subsection (1) may be issued even if any relevant proceedings under section 475, 480A, 480K or 481 have been instituted.

Proposal

             (4)  The Minister may issue a written certificate stating that, if a specified person were to carry out a proposal to engage in specified conduct, that conduct would contravene a specified civil penalty provision set out in this Division.

             (5)  The Minister may issue a certificate under subsection (4) if the Minister has reason to believe that:

                     (a)  the person proposes to engage in the conduct concerned; and

                     (b)  the conduct would contravene the civil penalty provision concerned.

             (6)  To avoid doubt, a certificate under subsection (4) may be issued even if any relevant proceedings under section 475 have been instituted.

25C  Certificate to be given to person

                   As soon as practicable after issuing a certificate under subsection 25B(1) or (4), the Minister must give a copy of the certificate to the person concerned.

25D  Evidentiary effect of certificate

             (1)  In any proceedings under section 475, 480A, 480K or 481, a certificate under subsection 25B(1) is prima facie evidence of the matters in the certificate.

             (2)  In any proceedings under section 475, a certificate under subsection 25B(4) is prima facie evidence of the matters in the certificate.

             (3)  A document purporting to be a certificate under subsection 25B(1) or (4) must, unless the contrary is established, be taken to be such a certificate and to have been properly issued.

             (4)  The Minister may certify that a document is a copy of a certificate under subsection 25B(1) or (4).

             (5)  This section applies to the certified copy as if it were the original.

25E  Variation of certificate

             (1)  The Minister may vary a certificate under subsection 25B(1) or (4) so long as the variation is of a minor nature.

             (2)  If a certificate is varied, the Minister must give the person concerned a written notice setting out the terms of the variation.

25F  Revocation of certificate

             (1)  The Minister may revoke a certificate under subsection 25B(1) or (4).

             (2)  If a certificate is revoked, the Minister must give the person concerned a written notice stating that the certificate has been revoked.

Division 2Protection of the environment from proposals involving the Commonwealth

Subdivision AProtection of environment from actions involving Commonwealth land

26  Requirement for approval of activities involving Commonwealth land

Actions on Commonwealth land

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

Civil penalty:         

                     (a)  for an individual—1,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—10,000 penalty units.

Actions outside Commonwealth land affecting that land

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

                     (a)  has or will have a significant impact on the environment on Commonwealth land; or

                     (b)  is likely to have a significant impact on the environment on Commonwealth land.

Civil penalty:         

                     (a)  for an individual—1,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—10,000 penalty units.

Exceptions to prohibitions

             (3)  Subsection (1) or (2) 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

                     (d)  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

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

                      (f)  the person taking the action is the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth agency.

Note 1:       This section protects (among other things) the Commonwealth Heritage values of a Commonwealth Heritage place on Commonwealth land, because the heritage values of a place are part of the environment. See the definition of environment in section 528.

Note 2:       Section 28 regulates actions by the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth agency with a significant impact on the environment.

27  What is Commonwealth land?

                   Commonwealth land is so much of a Commonwealth area as is not a Commonwealth marine area.

27A  Offences relating to Commonwealth land

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

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is taken on Commonwealth land; 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.

          (1A)  Strict liability applies to paragraph (1)(b).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

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

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is taken on Commonwealth land; and

                     (c)  the action is likely to have a significant impact on the environment.

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

          (2A)  Strict liability applies to paragraph (2)(b).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

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

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is taken outside Commonwealth land but in the Australian jurisdiction; and

                     (c)  the action results or will result in a significant impact on the environment in an area; and

                     (d)  the area is Commonwealth land.

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

          (3A)  Strict liability applies to paragraphs (3)(b) and (d).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

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

                     (a)  the person takes an action; and

                     (b)  the action is taken outside Commonwealth land but in the Australian jurisdiction; and

                     (c)  the action is likely to have a significant impact on the environment in an area; and

                     (d)  the area is Commonwealth land.

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

          (4A)  Strict liability applies to paragraphs (4)(b) and (d).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

             (5)  An offence against subsection (1), (2), (3) or (4) is punishable on conviction by imprisonment for a term not more than 2 years, a fine not more than 120 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.

Note 3:       If a person takes an action on land that contravenes this section, a landholder may be guilty of an offence against section 496C.

             (6)  Subsection (1), (2), (3) or (4) 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 action is an action described in subsection 160(2) (which describes actions whose authorisation is subject to a special environmental assessment process); or

                     (e)  the person taking the action is a Commonwealth agency.

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:       This section protects (among other things) the Commonwealth Heritage values of a Commonwealth Heritage place on Commonwealth land, because the heritage values of a place are part of the environment. See the definition of environment in section 528.

Note 3:       Section 28 regulates actions by the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth agency with a significant impact on the environment.

Subdivision AAProtection of Commonwealth Heritage places outside the Australian jurisdiction

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

             (1)  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 environment in a Commonwealth Heritage place outside the Australian jurisdiction.

Civil Penalty:         

                     (a)  for an individual—1,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate—10,000 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).

Note:          Subdivision F of Division 1 and Subdivision A of this Division protect the environment in Commonwealth Heritage places inside the Australian jurisdiction because those places are in Commonwealth marine areas or on Commonwealth land.

27C  Offences relating to Commonwealth Heritage places overseas

             (1)  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 environment in a place; and

                    (ca)  the place is a Commonwealth 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.

          (1A)  Strict liability applies to paragraph (1)(ca).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

             (2)  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 environment in a place; and

                     (d)  the place is a Commonwealth Heritage place; and

                     (e)  the place is outside the Australian jurisdiction.

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

          (2A)  Strict liability applies to paragraph (2)(d).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

             (3)  An offence against subsection (1) or (2) is punishable on conviction by imprisonment for a term not more than 2 years, a fine not more than 120 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)  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.

             (5)  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 BProtection of the environment from Commonwealth actions

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

             (1)  The Commonwealth or a Commonwealth agency must not take inside or outside the Australian jurisdiction an action that has, will have or is likely to have a significant impact on the environment inside or outside the Australian jurisdiction.

Civil penalty:         

                     (a)  for a Commonwealth agency that is an individual—1,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a Commonwealth agency that is a body corporate—10,000 penalty units.

Note 1:       This section protects (among other things) the Commonwealth Heritage values of a Commonwealth Heritage place from an action taken by the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth agency, because the heritage values of a place are part of the environment. See the definition of environment in section 528.

Note 2:       This section does not apply to decisions to authorise activities. See Subdivision A of Division 1 of Part 23.

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

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

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

                     (c)  the action is one declared by the Minister in writing to be an action to which this section does not apply; or

                     (d)  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

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

             (3)  The Minister may make a written declaration that actions are actions to which this section does not apply, but only if he or she is satisfied that it is necessary in the interests of:

                     (a)  Australia’s defence or security; or

                     (b)  preventing, mitigating or dealing with a national emergency.

             (4)  The Minister may make a written declaration that all actions, or a specified class of actions, taken by a specified Commonwealth agency are actions to which this section does not apply.

             (5)  The Minister may make a declaration under subsection (4) relating to a Commonwealth agency’s actions only if he or she is satisfied that:

                     (a)  in taking the actions to which the declaration relates, the agency must comply with the law of a State or Territory (including a law of a State that is applied to a Commonwealth place by virtue of the Commonwealth Places (Application of Laws) Act 1970), that has either or both of the following objects (whether express or implied):

                              (i)  to protect the environment;

                             (ii)  to promote the conservation and ecologically sustainable use of natural resources; and

                     (b)  the impacts that the actions have, will have or are likely to have on the environment, are adequately addressed under the State or Territory law.

Subdivision CActions that are taken to be covered by this Division

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

             (1)  The regulations may provide that a specified action is taken to be an action to which a specified regulatory provision applies.

Note:          For specification by class, see subsection 13(3) of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

             (2)  To avoid doubt, if, as a result of a regulation made for the purposes of subsection (1), a regulatory provision applies to an action, the action is taken to be described in the provision.

             (3)  In this section:

regulatory provision means:

                     (a)  a civil penalty provision set out in this Division; or

                     (b)  a provision of this Division that creates an offence.

Subdivision DLimitation on liability for actions of third parties

28AB  Limitation on liability for actions of third parties

             (1)  A provision mentioned in subsection (2) or (3) does not apply to an action (the primary action) if:

                     (a)  a person (the primary person) takes the action; and

                     (b)  as a consequence of the primary action, another person (the secondary person) takes another action (the secondary action); and

                     (c)  the secondary action is not taken at the direction or request of the primary person; and

                     (d)  the significant impact referred to in the provision is a consequence of the secondary action.

Defence to offences

             (2)  For the purposes of subsection (1), the following provisions do not apply to the primary action:

                     (a)  subsections 27A(1) to (4);

                     (b)  subsections 27C(1) and (2).

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

Exception to civil penalties

             (3)  For the purposes of subsection (1), the following provisions do not apply to the primary action:

                     (a)  subsections 26(1) and (2);

                     (b)  subsection 27B(1);

                     (c)  subsection 28(1).

Part 4Cases in which environmental approvals are not needed

Division 1Actions covered by bilateral agreements

29  Actions declared by agreement not to need approval

             (1)  A person may take an action described in a provision of Part 3, other than section 24D or 24E, without an approval under Part 9 for the purposes of the provision if:

                     (a)  the action is taken in a State or self‑governing Territory; and

                     (b)  the action is one of a class of actions declared by a bilateral agreement between the Commonwealth and the State or Territory not to require approval under Part 9 for the purposes of the provision (because the action is approved in accordance with a management arrangement or authorisation process that is a bilaterally accredited management arrangement or a bilaterally accredited authorisation process for the purposes of the bilateral agreement); and

                     (c)  the provision of the bilateral agreement making the declaration is in operation in relation to the action; and

                     (d)  either of the following applies:

                              (i)  in the case of a bilaterally accredited management arrangement—the management arrangement is in force under a law of the State or Territory identified in or under the bilateral agreement;

                             (ii)  in the case of a bilaterally accredited authorisation process—the authorisation process is set out in a law of the State or Territory, and the law and the authorisation process are identified in or under the bilateral agreement; and

                     (e)  the action is taken in accordance with the bilaterally accredited management arrangement or bilaterally accredited authorisation process.

Note 1:       Section 46 deals with bilateral agreements making declarations described in paragraph (1)(b).

Note 2:       Division 3 of Part 5 explains how the operation of a bilateral agreement may be ended or suspended. Also, under section 49, bilateral agreements do not operate in relation to actions in Commonwealth areas or in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, or actions taken by the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth agency, unless they expressly provide that they do.

             (2)  If the action is to be taken in 2 or more States or self‑governing Territories, this section does not operate unless it operates in relation to each of those States or Territories.

30  Extended operation in State and Northern Territory waters

             (1)  Section 29 applies to an action taken on, over or under the seabed vested in a State by section 4 of the Coastal Waters (State Title) Act 1980 in the same way that it applies to an action taken in the State.

             (2)  Section 29 applies to an action taken on, over or under the seabed vested in the Northern Territory by section 4 of the Coastal Waters (Northern Territory Title) Act 1980 in the same way that it applies to an action taken in the Territory.

             (3)  Section 29 applies to an action taken in a Commonwealth marine area to which a law of a State or self‑governing Territory is applied by a Commonwealth law or by an agreement or arrangement under a Commonwealth law (other than this Act) in the same way as it applies to an action in the State or Territory, if the provision of the bilateral agreement has effect in relation to the area.

Note:          A provision of a bilateral agreement only has effect in relation to a Commonwealth area or the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park if the agreement expressly provides that it does. See section 49.

31  Extended operation in non‑self‑governing Territories

                   A person may take an action described in a provision of Part 3 without an approval under Part 9 for the purposes of the provision if:

                     (a)  the action is taken in a Territory (the action Territory) that is not a self‑governing Territory; and

                     (b)  an Act providing for the government of the action Territory provides that some or all of the law of a State or self‑governing Territory is in force in the action Territory as a law of the Territory; and

                     (c)  the action is one of a class of actions declared by a bilateral agreement between the Commonwealth and the State or self‑governing Territory not to require approval under Part 9 for the purposes of the provision of Part 3 (because the action is approved or taken in accordance with a bilaterally accredited management arrangement or a bilaterally accredited authorisation process); and

                     (d)  the bilateral agreement specifies that the provision of the agreement making the declaration has effect in relation to actions in the action Territory; and

                     (e)  the provision of the bilateral agreement making the declaration is in operation in relation to the action; and

                      (f)  either of the following applies:

                              (i)  in the case of a bilaterally accredited management arrangement—the management arrangement is in force under a law of the State or self‑governing Territory identified in or under the bilateral agreement;

                             (ii)  in the case of a bilaterally accredited authorisation process—the authorisation process is set out in a law of the State or self‑governing Territory, and the law and the authorisation process are identified in or under the bilateral agreement; and

                     (g)  the action is taken in accordance with the bilaterally accredited management arrangement or bilaterally accredited authorisation process.

Note:          Division 3 of Part 5 explains how the operation of a bilateral agreement may be ended or suspended.

Division 2Actions covered by Ministerial declarations and accredited management arrangements or accredited authorisation processes

Subdivision AEffect of declarations

32  Actions declared by Minister not to need approval

                   A person may take an action described in a provision of Part 3 without an approval under Part 9 for the purposes of the provision if:

                     (a)  the action is one of a class of actions declared by the Minister under section 33 not to require approval under Part 9 for the purposes of the provision (because the action is approved in accordance with an accredited management arrangement or an accredited authorisation process for the purposes of the declaration); and

                     (b)  the declaration is in operation when the action is taken; and

                     (c)  one of the following applies:

                              (i)  in the case of an accredited management arrangement—the management arrangement is in operation under a law of the Commonwealth identified in or under the declaration;

                             (ii)  in the case of an accredited authorisation process—the authorisation process is set out in a law of the Commonwealth, and the law and the authorisation process are identified in or under the declaration; and

                     (d)  the action is taken in accordance with the accredited management arrangement or accredited authorisation process.

Subdivision BMaking declarations

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

Declaration of actions not needing approval

             (1)  The Minister may declare in writing that actions in a class of actions specified in the declaration wholly or partly by reference to the fact that their taking has been approved by the Commonwealth or a specified Commonwealth agency, in accordance with a management arrangement or authorisation process that is an accredited management arrangement or an accredited authorisation process for the purposes of the declaration, do not require approval under Part 9 for the purposes of a specified provision of Part 3.

Note 1:       Subdivisions C and D set out rules about prerequisites for making a declaration and limits on making a declaration.

Note 2:       Section 35 provides for revocation of a declaration.

What is an accredited management arrangement?

             (2)  A management arrangement is an accredited management arrangement for the purposes of a declaration that certain actions do not require approval under Part 9 for the purposes of a specified provision of Part 3 if and only if:

                     (a)  the management arrangement is in operation under a law of the Commonwealth identified in or under the declaration; and

                     (b)  the management arrangement has been accredited in writing by the Minister in accordance with this section for the purposes of the declaration.

What is an accredited authorisation process?

          (2A)  An authorisation process is an accredited authorisation process for the purposes of a declaration that certain actions do not require approval under Part 9 for the purposes of a specified provision of Part 3 if and only if:

                     (a)  the authorisation process is set out in a law of the Commonwealth, and the law and the authorisation process are identified in or under the declaration; and

                     (b)  the authorisation process has been accredited in writing by the Minister in accordance with this section for the purposes of the declaration.

Accrediting management arrangement or authorisation process

             (3)  For the purposes of subsection (2) or (2A), the Minister may accredit by written instrument a management arrangement or authorisation process for the purposes of a declaration. However, the Minister may do so only if the Minister is satisfied that:

                     (a)  the management arrangement or authorisation process and the law under which it is in operation, or in which it is set out, meet the criteria prescribed by the regulations; and

                     (b)  there has been or will be adequate assessment of the impacts that actions approved in accordance with the management arrangement or authorisation process:

                              (i)  have or will have; or

                             (ii)  are likely to have;

                            on each matter protected by a provision of Part 3 to which the declaration relates; and

                     (c)  actions approved or taken in accordance with the management arrangement or authorisation process will not have unacceptable or unsustainable impacts on a matter protected by a provision of Part 3 to which the declaration relates.

The Minister must publish in accordance with the regulations (if any) the instrument accrediting the management arrangement or authorisation process.

Note:          Subdivision C sets out more prerequisites for accrediting a management arrangement or authorisation process.

Tabling of management arrangement or authorisation process before accreditation

             (4)  The Minister must cause to be laid before each House of the Parliament:

                     (a)  a copy of:

                              (i)  in the case of a management arrangement—the management arrangement; or

                             (ii)  in the case of an authorisation process—the relevant part of the law in which the authorisation process is set out;

                            that the Minister is considering accrediting for the purposes of subsection (2) or (2A); and

                     (b)  a notice that the Minister proposes to accredit the management arrangement or authorisation process for the purposes of a declaration under this section.

Limitations on accreditation during period for opposition

             (5)  The Minister must not accredit a management arrangement or authorisation process for the purposes of subsection (2) or (2A) under a bilateral agreement:

                     (a)  before, or within 15 sitting days after, a copy of the management arrangement or authorisation process is laid before each House of the Parliament under this section; or

                     (b)  if, within those 15 sitting days of a House, notice of a motion to oppose accreditation of the management arrangement or authorisation process is given in that House—subject to subsection (5A), within 15 sitting days of that House after the notice is given.

          (5A)  If:

                     (a)  notice of a motion to oppose accreditation of the management arrangement or authorisation process is given in a House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days after the management arrangement or authorisation process is laid before the House under this section; and

                     (b)  the notice is withdrawn or otherwise disposed of within 15 sitting days of that House after the notice is given;

then, subject to paragraph (5)(a), the Minister may accredit the management arrangement or authorisation process after the motion is withdrawn or otherwise disposed of.

No accreditation after accreditation opposed

             (6)  The Minister must not accredit the management arrangement or authorisation process if either House of the Parliament passes a resolution opposing accreditation of the management arrangement or authorisation process following a motion of which notice has been given within 15 sitting days after the management arrangement or relevant part of the law has been laid before the House under this section.

No accreditation if motion not defeated in time

             (7)  The Minister must not accredit the management arrangement or authorisation process if, at the end of 15 sitting days after notice of a motion to oppose accreditation of the management arrangement or authorisation process that was given in a House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days after the management arrangement or relevant part of the law was laid before the House under this section:

                     (a)  the notice has not been withdrawn and the motion has not been called on; or

                     (b)  the motion has been called on, moved and seconded and has not been withdrawn or otherwise disposed of.

Extended time after dissolution or prorogation

             (8)  If:

                     (a)  notice of a motion to oppose the accreditation of the management arrangement or authorisation process is given in a House of the Parliament (the opposing House); and

                     (b)  before the end of 15 sitting days of the opposing House after the notice is given:

                              (i)  the House of Representatives is dissolved or expires; or

                             (ii)  the Parliament is prorogued; and

                     (c)  at the time of the