Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

A Bill for an Act to amend the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and for related purposes
Administered by: Environment
For authoritative information on the progress of bills and on amendments proposed to them, please see the House of Representatives Votes and Proceedings, and the Journals of the Senate as available on the Parliament House website.
Registered 20 Aug 2015
Introduced HR 20 Aug 2015

2013-2014-2015

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AND BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AMENDMENT (STANDING) BILL 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP)

 

 

 

 

 


ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AND BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AMENDMENT (STANDING) BILL 2015

 

 

OUTLINE

 

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Standing) Bill 2015 (the Bill) amends the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (the EPBC Act) to repeal section 487 which extends the meaning of person aggrieved in the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (the ADJR Act). The amendments will bring the EPBC Act into line with the standing provisions of the ADJR Act, and will not prevent persons who can meet the standing test in the ADJR Act from applying for judicial review.

 

The Bill will apply to applications made under the ADJR Act the day after the date of the Royal Assent irrespective of when the decision, failure to make a decision or conduct occurs. 

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

The Bill does not have a financial impact.

STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS – PART 3 HUMAN RIGHTS (PARLIAMENTARY SCRUTINY) ACT 2011

 

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

 

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Standing) Bill 2015

 

This Bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the

Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 (Cth)

 

Overview of the Bill

 

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Standing) Bill 2015 (the Bill) amends the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (the EPBC Act) to repeal section 487 which extends the meaning of person aggrieved in the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (the ADJR Act). The amendments will bring the EPBC Act into line with the standing provisions of the ADJR Act, and will not prevent persons who can meet the standing test in the ADJR Act from applying for judicial review.

 

The Bill will apply to applications made under the ADJR Act the day after the date of the Royal Assent irrespective of when the decision, failure to make a decision or conduct occurs. 

 

Human rights implications

 

This Bill engages the right to a fair hearing in Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. However, the Bill does not limit this right. Section 487 of the EBPC Act currently extends standing to seek judicial review of decisions to individuals who are Australian citizens or residents, organisations or associations established in Australian or an external territory who have at any time in the two years immediately before the decision, failure to make a decision or conduct have engaged in a series of environmental conservation or research activities in Australia or an external territory. The Bill repeals this provision.

 

The definition of aggrieved persons in the ADJR Act will remain unchanged. The ADJR Act defines an aggrieved person as a person whose interests are adversely affected by the decision, failure to make a decision or conduct. People who satisfy the definition of an aggrieved person will continue to have standing to seek judicial review of decisions made under the EBPC Act.

 

The Bill does not alter the jurisdiction of courts to review decisions under the ADJR Act.  Repeal of section 487 will mean that standing will therefore be available to all parties that currently have access to legal rights of standing under the general ADJR Act standing provisions.

 

Conclusion

 

This Bill is compatible with human rights as it engages, but does not limit, any human rights.  

 

 

Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP


 

ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AND BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AMENDMENT (STANDING) BILL 2015

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1 - Short Title

 

Clause 1 provides that the Act may be cited as the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Standing) Act 2015 (the Amendment Act).

 

Clause 2 - Commencement

 

The Amendment Act will commence on the day after it receives the Royal Assent.

 

Clause 3 – Schedule

 

This clause provides for amendments to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) specified in the Schedule.

 

Schedule 1 – Amendments

 

Item 1 – Section 487

 

Section 487 of the EPBC Act extends the meaning of person aggrieved for the purposes of the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (the ADJR Act). The section enables individuals who are Australian citizens or residents, organisations or associations established in Australia or an external territory to seek judicial review, if, at any time in the two years immediately before the decision, failure to make a decision or conduct, they have engaged in a series of environmental conservation or research activities in Australia or an external territory.

 

Item 1 repeals section 487. As a result, persons wishing to seek judicial review of a decision, a failure to make a decision or regulations or conduct engaged in for the purposes of making a decision under the EPBC Act or regulations, will need to satisfy the standing test in the ADJR Act; that is, they will need to demonstrate that they an aggrieved person.

 

Item 2 – Application of amendments

 

Item 2 clarifies that  the repeal of section 487 of the EPBC Act applies in relation to any application made under the ADJR Act after this item commences, regardless of whether the decision, failure to make a decision or conduct to which the application relates occurs before or after this item commences.