Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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A Bill for an Act to amend the law relating to the Great Barrier Reef, and for related purposes
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Registered 14 Feb 2014
Introduced Senate 13 Feb 2014
Table of contents.

2013‑2014

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

Great Barrier Reef Legislation Amendment Bill 2014

 

No.      , 2014

 

(Senator Waters)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to amend the law relating to the Great Barrier Reef, and for related purposes

  

  


Contents

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

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

3............ Schedule(s)......................................................................................... 2

Schedule 1—Developments impacting Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area             3

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999                   3

Schedule 2—Dumping dredged material in Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area 6

Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981                                                6

 

 


A Bill for an Act to amend the law relating to the Great Barrier Reef, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1  Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Great Barrier Reef Legislation Amendment Act 2014.

2  Commencement

                   This Act commences on the day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

3  Schedule(s)

                   Each Act that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

Schedule 1Developments impacting Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area

  

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

1  After Subdivision FA of Division 1 of Part 3

Insert:

Subdivision FAADevelopments impacting the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area

24CA  No port development in designated areas

                   Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, or of a regulation made for the purposes of this Act, the Minister must not approve an action if:

                     (a)  the action relates to the building or development of a port:

                              (i)  outside existing port areas; and

                             (ii)  in, or in an area adjoining, the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area; or

                     (b)  the action relates to the building, development, expansion or improvement of a port located in any of the following areas in or adjoining the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area:

                              (i)  the Fitzroy Delta;

                             (ii)  Balaclava Island;

                            (iii)  Port Alma;

                            (iv)  northern Curtis Island (north of 23°45'S);

                             (v)  the Far Northern Management Area (within the meaning of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning Plan 2003, as in force on 13 February 2014);

                            (vi)  any other area, to the extent that the building or development of the port in that area could have a significant impact on the environment of an area referred to in subparagraphs (i) to (v).

24CB  Development of existing port

                   Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, or of a regulation made for the purposes of this Act, the Minister must not, after 13 February 2014, approve an action relating to the building or development of a port:

                     (a)  if the action would occur in an existing port area that is located in, or adjoining, the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area; and

                     (b)  if the action would impact individually or cumulatively on the world heritage values of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

24CC  Moratorium on all developments impacting the Reef until strategic assessment completed

                   Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, or of a regulation made for the purposes of this Act, the Minister must not, after 13 February 2014, give an approval, or revoke or amend an approval, for an action that is likely to individually or cumulatively have a significant impact on the world heritage values of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, unless:

                     (a)  a strategic assessment of the long term sustainability of development impacting the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and areas adjoining the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area has been undertaken; and

                     (b)  the strategic assessment has been provided to the World Heritage Committee for review and consideration; and

                     (c)  the World Heritage Committee has completed its review and consideration of the strategic assessment and has deemed it to be adequate.

24CD  Minister cannot approve any developments which do not deliver a net benefit for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area

             (1)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, or of a regulation made for the purposes of this Act, the Minister must not approve an action that impacts the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area if the action will not deliver an overall net benefit for the world heritage values of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

             (2)  The Minister must make a determination, in writing, setting out a methodology to be applied to determine whether an action has an overall net benefit for the world heritage values of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

             (3)  The determination under subsection (2) is a legislative instrument.

             (4)  In determining whether an action delivers an overall net benefit for the world heritage values of the world heritage area as required in subsection (1), the Minister must:

                     (a)  apply the methodology established under subsection (2); and

                     (b)  prepare a statement of reasons that clearly explains how the methodology in subsection (2) has been applied; and

                     (c)  publish the statement on the Department’s website at the time the decision is made.

             (5)  The Minister must make the first determination under subsection (2) before the end of the period of 6 months starting on the day this section commences.

2  Section 528

Insert:

Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area has the meaning given by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975.

Schedule 2Dumping dredged material in Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area

  

Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981

1  Subsection 4(1)

Insert:

Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area has the meaning given by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975.

2  After section 10A

Insert:

10AA  Dumping of dredged material into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area

Offence

             (1)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person dumps dredged material into any part of the sea; and

                     (b)  the part is in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Penalty:  250 penalty units or imprisonment for 12 months, or both.

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

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

Other laws

             (3)  Despite anything in this Act, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 or the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975, dumping dredged material into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area is not, and must not be, approved or permitted under those Acts (including regulations made under those Acts).

             (4)  The following provisions of this Act do not apply in relation to dumping dredged material into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area:

                     (a)  section 5 (about controlled material related to the exploration, exploitation and processing of seabed mineral resources);

                     (b)  section 9 (about declared coastal waters of States);

                     (c)  subsection 15(1) and sections 18 to 25 (about permits).

             (5)  The other provisions of this Act apply:

                     (a)  to dredged material that is, or is to be, dumped into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area in the same way as the provisions apply to controlled material that is, or is to be, dumped into Australian waters; and

                     (b)  in relation to an offence against subsection (1) of this section in the same way as the provisions apply in relation to an offence against section 10A.

3  After section 10C

Insert:

10CA  Loading for the purpose of dumping dredged material into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area

             (1)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person loads dredged material on a vessel or platform in Australia or Australian waters; and

                     (b)  the person:

                              (i)  knows that the material will be dumped into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area; or

                             (ii)  is reckless as to whether the material will be dumped into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Penalty:  250 penalty units or imprisonment for 12 months, or both.

Other laws

             (2)  Despite anything in this Act, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 or the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975, loading dredged material on a vessel or platform is not, and must not be, approved or permitted under those Acts (including regulations made under those Acts), if the material will be dumped into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

             (3)  The following provisions of this Act do not apply in relation to loading dredged material on a vessel or platform for dumping into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area:

                     (a)  section 5 (about controlled material related to the exploration, exploitation and processing of seabed mineral resources);

                     (b)  section 9 (about declared coastal waters of States);

                     (c)  subsection 15(2) and sections 18 to 25 (about permits).

             (4)  The other provisions of this Act apply:

                     (a)  to dredged material that is loaded on a vessel or platform and will be dumped into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area in the same way as the provisions apply to controlled material that is loaded on a vessel or platform and will be dumped into Australian waters; and

                     (b)  in relation to an offence against subsection (1) of this section in the same way as the provisions apply in relation to an offence against section 10C.

4  Application of amendments

The amendments made by this Schedule do not apply in relation to dumping or loading if an approval or permission for the dumping or loading was granted on or before 31 December 2013 under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981 or the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 (including regulations made under those Acts).