Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Act No. 91 of 1999 as amended, taking into account amendments up to Environment Legislation Amendment Act 2015
An Act relating to the protection of the environment and the conservation of biodiversity, and for related purposes
Administered by: Environment
Registered 12 Mar 2015
Start Date 06 Mar 2015
End Date 17 Jun 2015
Table of contents.

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

No. 91, 1999

Compilation No. 43

Compilation date:                              6 March 2015

Includes amendments up to:            Act No. 11, 2015

Registered:                                         12 March 2015

This compilation is in 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 that shows the text of the law as amended and in force on 6 March 2015 (the compilation date).

This compilation was prepared on 12 March 2015.

The notes at the end of this compilation (the endnotes) include information about amending laws and the amendment history of provisions of the compiled law.

Uncommenced amendments

The effect of uncommenced amendments is not shown in the text of the compiled law. Any uncommenced amendments affecting the law are accessible on ComLaw (www.comlaw.gov.au). The details of amendments made up to, but not commenced at, the compilation date are underlined in the endnotes. For more information on any uncommenced amendments, see the series page on ComLaw for the compiled law.

Application, saving and transitional provisions for provisions and amendments

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

Modifications

If the compiled law is modified by another law, the compiled law operates as modified but the modification does not amend the text of the law. Accordingly, this compilation does not show the text of the compiled law as modified. For more information on any modifications, see the series page on ComLaw for the compiled law.

Self-repealing provisions

If a provision of the compiled law has been repealed 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.............................................................................. 4

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....................................................... 8

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

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

10.......... Relationship with State law................................................................. 9

Chapter 2—Protecting the environment                                              10

Part 2—Simplified outline of this Chapter                                                           10

11.......... Simplified outline of this Chapter...................................................... 10

Part 3—Requirements for environmental approvals                                     11

Division 1—Requirements relating to matters of national environmental significance                11

Subdivision A—World Heritage                                                                          11

12.......... Requirement for approval of activities with a significant impact on a declared World Heritage property 11

13.......... What is a declared World Heritage property?.................................. 12

14.......... Declaring a property to be a declared World Heritage property......... 12

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

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

Subdivision AA—National Heritage                                                                   17

15B....... Requirement for approval of activities with a significant impact on a National Heritage place 17

15C....... Offences relating to National Heritage places.................................... 19

Subdivision B—Wetlands of international importance                                 25

16.......... Requirement for approval of activities with a significant impact on a declared Ramsar wetland               25

17.......... What is a declared Ramsar wetland?................................................ 26

17A....... Making and revoking declarations of wetlands................................. 26

17B....... Offences relating to declared Ramsar wetlands................................. 28

Subdivision C—Listed threatened species and communities                         30

18.......... Actions with significant impact on listed threatened species or endangered community prohibited without approval.......................................................................................................... 30

18A....... Offences relating to threatened species etc........................................ 32

19.......... Certain actions relating to listed threatened species and listed threatened ecological communities not prohibited     33

Subdivision D—Listed migratory species                                                          34

20.......... Requirement for approval of activities with a significant impact on a listed migratory species 34

20A....... Offences relating to listed migratory species..................................... 35

20B....... Certain actions relating to listed migratory species not prohibited..... 36

Subdivision E—Protection of the environment from nuclear actions        37

21.......... Requirement for approval of nuclear actions..................................... 37

22.......... What is a nuclear action?.................................................................. 38

22A....... Offences relating to nuclear actions................................................... 39

Subdivision F—Marine environment                                                                  42

23.......... Requirement for approval of activities involving the marine environment                42

24.......... What is a Commonwealth marine area?........................................... 44

24A....... Offences relating to marine areas...................................................... 45

Subdivision FA—Great Barrier Reef Marine Park                                        50

24B....... Requirement for approval of activities in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park          50

24C....... Offences relating to Great Barrier Reef Marine Park........................ 51

Subdivision FB—Protection of water resources from coal seam gas development and large coal mining development                                                                                 54

24D....... Requirement for approval of developments with a significant impact on water resources        54

24E........ Offences relating to water resources................................................. 56

Subdivision G—Additional matters of national environmental significance 58

25.......... Requirement for approval of prescribed actions................................ 58

Subdivision H—Actions that are taken to be covered by this Division       60

25A....... Actions that are taken to be covered by this Division........................ 60

Subdivision HA—Limitation on liability for actions of third parties        61

25AA.... Limitation on liability for actions of third parties............................... 61

Subdivision I—Evidentiary certificates                                                             63

25B....... Evidentiary certificates...................................................................... 63

25C....... Certificate to be given to person........................................................ 64

25D....... Evidentiary effect of certificate.......................................................... 64

25E........ Variation of certificate....................................................................... 64

25F........ Revocation of certificate.................................................................... 65

Division 2—Protection of the environment from proposals involving the Commonwealth        66

Subdivision A—Protection of environment from actions involving Commonwealth land         66

26.......... Requirement for approval of activities involving Commonwealth land 66

27.......... What is Commonwealth land?.......................................................... 67

27A....... Offences relating to Commonwealth land......................................... 67

Subdivision AA—Protection of Commonwealth Heritage places outside the Australian jurisdiction     70

27B....... Requirement for approval of actions with significant impact on Commonwealth Heritage places overseas             70

27C....... Offences relating to Commonwealth Heritage places overseas......... 71

Subdivision B—Protection of the environment from Commonwealth actions               72

28.......... Requirement for approval of activities of Commonwealth agencies significantly affecting the environment            72

Subdivision C—Actions that are taken to be covered by this Division       74

28AA.... Actions that are taken to be covered by this Division........................ 74

Subdivision D—Limitation on liability for actions of third parties            75

28AB.... Limitation on liability for actions of third parties............................... 75

Part 4—Cases in which environmental approvals are not needed        77

Division 1—Actions covered by bilateral agreements                              77

29.......... Actions declared by agreement not to need approval......................... 77

30.......... Extended operation in State and Northern Territory waters............... 78

31.......... Extended operation in non‑self‑governing Territories....................... 79

Division 2—Actions covered by Ministerial declarations and accredited management arrangements or accredited authorisation processes                                           81

Subdivision A—Effect of declarations                                                               81

32.......... Actions declared by Minister not to need approval........................... 81

Subdivision B—Making declarations                                                                 82

33.......... Making declaration that actions do not need approval under Part 9... 82

34.......... What is matter protected by a provision of Part 3?........................... 86

Subdivision C—Prerequisites for making declarations                                 89

34A....... Minister may only make declaration if prescribed criteria are met..... 89

34B....... Declarations relating to declared World Heritage properties.............. 89

34BA.... Declarations relating to National Heritage places.............................. 90

34C....... Declarations relating to declared Ramsar wetlands............................ 90

34D....... Declarations relating to listed threatened species and ecological communities          91

34E........ Declarations relating to migratory species......................................... 92

34F........ Declarations relating to Commonwealth Heritage places................... 93

Subdivision D—Other rules about declarations                                               94

35.......... Revoking declarations....................................................................... 94

36.......... Other rules about declarations........................................................... 95

36A....... Minor amendments of accredited management arrangement or accredited authorisation process             95

Division 3—Actions covered by Ministerial declarations and bioregional plans             97

Subdivision A—Effect of declarations                                                               97

37.......... Actions declared by Minister not to need approval........................... 97

Subdivision B—Making declarations                                                                 97

37A....... Making declarations that actions do not need approval under Part 9. 97

Subdivision C—Prerequisites for making declarations                                 98

37B....... General considerations...................................................................... 98

37C....... Minister may make declaration only if prescribed criteria are met..... 98

37D....... Declarations relating to declared World Heritage properties.............. 98

37E........ Declarations relating to National Heritage places.............................. 99

37F........ Declarations relating to declared Ramsar wetlands............................ 99

37G....... Declarations relating to listed threatened species and ecological communities          100

37H....... Declarations relating to listed migratory species.............................. 100

37J........ No declarations relating to nuclear actions...................................... 101

Subdivision D—Other rules about declarations                                             101

37K....... Revoking declarations..................................................................... 101

37L........ Other rules about declarations......................................................... 101

Division 3A—Actions covered by conservation agreements               103

37M...... Actions declared by conservation agreement not to need approval.. 103

Division 4—Forestry operations in certain regions                                 104

Subdivision A—Regions covered by regional forest agreements              104

38.......... Part 3 not to apply to certain RFA forestry operations.................... 104

Subdivision B—Regions subject to a process of negotiating a regional forest agreement          104

39.......... Object of this Subdivision............................................................... 104

40.......... Forestry operations in regions not yet covered by regional forest agreements          105

41.......... What is an RFA region?.................................................................. 106

Subdivision C—Limits on application                                                              107

42.......... This Division does not apply to some forestry operations.............. 107

Division 5—Actions in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park             108

43.......... Actions taken in accordance with zoning plan................................. 108

Division 6Actions with prior authorisation                                              109

43A....... Actions with prior authorisation...................................................... 109

43B....... Actions which are lawful continuations of use of land etc.............. 110

Chapter 3—Bilateral agreements                                                              112

Part 5—Bilateral agreements                                                                                      112

Division 1—Object of Part                                                                                    112

44.......... Object of this Part........................................................................... 112

Division 2—Making bilateral agreements                                                     113

Subdivision A—Power to make bilateral agreements                                  113

45.......... Minister may make agreement......................................................... 113

46.......... Agreement may declare actions do not need approval under Part 9. 114

47.......... Agreement may declare classes of actions do not need assessment. 119

48.......... Other provisions of bilateral agreements......................................... 120

48A....... Mandatory provisions..................................................................... 121

49.......... Certain limits on scope of bilateral agreements................................ 123

Subdivision B—Prerequisites for making bilateral agreements               124

49A....... Consultation on draft agreement...................................................... 124

50.......... Minister may only enter into agreement if prescribed criteria are met 124

51.......... Agreements relating to declared World Heritage properties............ 124

51A....... Agreements relating to National Heritage places............................. 125

52.......... Agreements relating to declared Ramsar wetlands.......................... 126

53.......... Agreements relating to listed threatened species and ecological communities           126

54.......... Agreements relating to migratory species........................................ 128

55.......... Agreements relating to nuclear actions............................................ 129

56.......... Agreements relating to prescribed actions....................................... 129

Subdivision C—Minor amendments of bilateral agreements                     130

56A....... Ministerial determination of minor amendments to bilateral agreements.. 130

Division 3—Suspending and ending the effect of bilateral agreements  131

Subdivision A—Suspension and cancellation of effect                                 131

57.......... Representations about suspension or cancellation........................... 131

58.......... Consultation before cancellation or suspension............................... 132

59.......... Suspension or cancellation.............................................................. 132

60.......... Emergency suspension of effect of bilateral agreement................... 134

61.......... Cancellation during suspension....................................................... 135

62.......... Revocation of notice of suspension or cancellation......................... 135

63.......... Cancellation or suspension at request of other party....................... 136

64.......... Cancellation or suspension of bilateral agreement does not affect certain actions     137

Subdivision B—Expiry of bilateral agreements                                            138

65.......... Expiry and review of bilateral agreements....................................... 138

65A....... Expiry of bilateral agreement does not affect certain actions........... 138

Chapter 4—Environmental assessments and approvals  140

Part 6—Simplified outline of this Chapter                                                         140

66.......... Simplified outline of this Chapter.................................................... 140

Part 7—Deciding whether approval of actions is needed                          142

Division 1—Referral of proposals to take action                                      142

67.......... What is a controlled action?............................................................ 142

67A....... Prohibition on taking controlled action without approval................ 142

68.......... Referral by person proposing to take action.................................... 142

68A....... Actions proposed to be taken under a contract etc........................... 143

69.......... State or Territory may refer proposal to Minister............................ 144

70.......... Minister may request referral of proposal....................................... 145

71.......... Commonwealth agency may refer proposal to Minister.................. 146

72.......... Form and content of referrals.......................................................... 146

73.......... Informing person proposing to take action of referral..................... 147

73A....... Informing Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority of proposal affecting Great Barrier Reef Marine Park          147

74.......... Inviting provision of information on referred proposal................... 147

74A....... Minister may request referral of a larger action............................... 150

74AA.... Offence of taking action before decision made in relation to referral etc.  151

Division 1A—Decision that action is clearly unacceptable                  153

74B....... Application of this Division............................................................ 153

74C....... Informing person proposing to take action that action is clearly unacceptable          153

74D....... Procedure if Minister is requested to reconsider referral................. 154

Division 2—Ministerial decision whether action needs approval     157

75.......... Does the proposed action need approval?....................................... 157

76.......... Minister may request more information for making decisions........ 160

77.......... Notice and reasons for decision...................................................... 161

77A....... Action to be taken in a particular manner........................................ 162

Division 3—Reconsideration of decisions                                                      164

78.......... Reconsideration of decision............................................................ 164

78A....... Request for reconsideration of decision by person other than State or Territory Minister        167

78B....... Minister must inform interested persons of request and invite comments                168

78C....... Minister must reconsider decision and give notice of outcome....... 170

79.......... Reconsideration of decision on request by a State or Territory....... 171

Part 8—Assessing impacts of controlled actions                                             173

Division 1—Simplified outline of this Part                                                     173

80.......... Simplified outline of this Part.......................................................... 173

Division 2—Application of this Part                                                                 174

81.......... Application...................................................................................... 174

82.......... What are the relevant impacts of an action?.................................... 174

83.......... This Part does not apply if action covered by bilateral agreement... 175

84.......... This Part does not apply if action covered by declaration................ 176

Division 3—Decision on assessment approach                                            179

Subdivision A—Simplified outline of this Division                                       179

85.......... Simplified outline of this Division.................................................. 179

Subdivision B—Deciding on approach for assessment                                 179

87.......... Minister must decide on approach for assessment.......................... 179

88.......... Timing of decision on assessment approach................................... 181

89.......... Minister may request more information for making decision.......... 182

90.......... Directing an inquiry after starting an assessment............................ 183

91.......... Notice of decision on assessment approach.................................... 184

Division 3A—Assessment on referral information                                   186

92.......... Application of this Division............................................................ 186

93.......... Recommendation report.................................................................. 186

Division 4—Assessment on preliminary documentation                        188

94.......... Application of this Division............................................................ 188

95.......... Direction to publish referral information and invitation to comment—no further information required    188

95A....... Direction to publish referral information and invitation to comment—further information required         189

95B....... Procedure after end of period for comment..................................... 190

95C....... Recommendation report.................................................................. 191

Division 5—Public environment reports                                                        192

96.......... Application...................................................................................... 192

96A....... Minister must give designated proponent written guidelines for preparation of draft public environment report     192

96B....... Standard guidelines......................................................................... 193

97.......... Tailored guidelines.......................................................................... 193

98.......... Designated proponent must invite comment on draft public environment report      195

99.......... Finalising public environment report............................................... 196

100........ Recommendation report.................................................................. 197

Division 6—Environmental impact statements                                           198

101........ Application...................................................................................... 198

101A..... Minister must give designated proponent written guidelines for preparation of draft environmental impact statement........................................................................................................ 198

101B..... Standard guidelines......................................................................... 199

102........ Tailored guidelines.......................................................................... 200

103........ Designated proponent must invite comment on draft environmental impact statement             201

104........ Finalising environmental impact statement...................................... 202

105........ Recommendation report.................................................................. 203

Division 7—Inquiries                                                                                                205

Subdivision A—Preliminary                                                                               205

106........ Simplified outline............................................................................ 205

Subdivision B—Establishment of inquiries                                                     205

107........ Appointing commissioners and setting terms of reference.............. 205

108........ Publicising inquiry.......................................................................... 207

Subdivision C—Conduct of inquiries                                                                208

109........ Procedure of inquiries..................................................................... 208

110........ Inquiry to be public......................................................................... 208

111........ Calling witnesses............................................................................ 209

112........ Dealing with witnesses................................................................... 210

113........ Dealing with documents given to commission................................ 211

114........ Inspections of land, buildings and places........................................ 211

115........ Entering premises by consent.......................................................... 212

116........ Entering premises under warrant..................................................... 213

117........ Warrants by telephone or other electronic means............................ 214

118........ Identity cards................................................................................... 216

119........ Contempt......................................................................................... 216

120........ Protection of commissioners and witnesses.................................... 217

Subdivision D—Inquiry reports                                                                         219

121........ Timing of report.............................................................................. 219

122........ Publication of report........................................................................ 219

Subdivision E—Commissioners’ terms and conditions                                219

123........ Basis of appointment....................................................................... 219

124........ Remuneration.................................................................................. 220

125........ Leave of absence............................................................................. 220

126........ Resignation..................................................................................... 221

127........ Termination of appointment............................................................ 221

128........ Disclosure of interests..................................................................... 222

129........ Other terms and conditions............................................................. 222

Part 9—Approval of actions                                                                                        223

Division 1—Decisions on approval and conditions                                   223

Subdivision A—General                                                                                       223

130........ Timing of decision on approval....................................................... 223

131........ Inviting comments from other Ministers before decision................ 225

131AA.. Inviting comments before decision from person proposing to take action and designated proponent       226

131AB.. Minister must obtain advice from Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development................................................................................... 228

131A..... Inviting public comment before decision......................................... 229

132........ Requesting further information for approval decision..................... 229

132A..... Requesting notice from appropriate State or Territory Minister about certain actions               230

132B..... Election to have an action management plan approved after approval of the taking of an action granted  231

133........ Grant of approval............................................................................ 231

134........ Conditions of approval.................................................................... 235

134A..... Inviting public comment before approving action management plan 239

135........ Certain approvals and conditions must not give preference............. 240

135A..... Publication of recommendation reports........................................... 240

Subdivision B—Considerations for approvals and conditions                   241

136........ General considerations.................................................................... 241

137........ Requirements for decisions about World Heritage.......................... 244

137A..... Requirements for decisions about National Heritage places............ 244

138........ Requirements for decisions about Ramsar wetlands....................... 244

139........ Requirements for decisions about threatened species and endangered communities 245

140........ Requirements for decisions about migratory species....................... 245

140A..... No approval for certain nuclear installations................................... 246

Division 2—Requirement to comply with conditions                               247

142........ Compliance with conditions on approval........................................ 247

142A..... Offence of breaching conditions on approval.................................. 247

142B..... Strict liability offence for breach of approval condition................... 248

Division 3—Variation of conditions and suspension and revocation of approvals          250

143........ Variation of conditions attached to approval................................... 250

143A..... Variation of action management plan.............................................. 252

144........ Suspension of approval................................................................... 253

145........ Revocation of approval................................................................... 255

145A..... Reinstating suspended or revoked approval.................................... 257

Division 4—Transfer of approvals                                                                    259

145B..... Transfer with Minister’s consent.................................................... 259

Division 5—Extension of period of effect of approval                            261

145C..... Application to Minister to extend period of effect of approval........ 261

145D..... Minister must decide whether or not to extend approval period...... 261

145E...... Minister may request further information for making decision....... 262

Part 10—Strategic assessments                                                                                  263

Division 1—Strategic assessments generally                                               263

Subdivision A—Assessment of actions to be taken in accordance with policy, plan or program              263

146........ Minister may agree on strategic assessment.................................... 263

Subdivision B—Approval of taking of actions in accordance with endorsed policy, plan or program   265

146A..... Definition........................................................................................ 265

146B..... Minister may approve taking of actions in accordance with endorsed policy, plan or program                265

146C..... Inviting comments from other Ministers before deciding whether or not to approve taking of actions in accordance with endorsed policy, plan or program.................................................... 267

146D..... Effect of approval of taking of actions in accordance with endorsed policy, plan or program  268

Subdivision C—Considerations for approving taking of actions in accordance with endorsed policy, plan or program                                                                                      269

146E...... Minister must comply with this Subdivision................................... 269

146F...... General considerations.................................................................... 269

146G..... Approvals relating to declared World Heritage properties............... 270

146H..... Approvals relating to National Heritage places............................... 270

146J...... Approvals relating to declared Ramsar wetlands............................. 270

146K..... Approvals relating to listed threatened species and ecological communities             270

146L...... Approvals relating to listed migratory species................................. 271

146M.... No approvals relating to nuclear actions.......................................... 271

Division 2—Assessment of Commonwealth‑managed fisheries         272

147........ Simplified outline of this Division.................................................. 272

148........ Assessment before management plan is determined........................ 273

149........ Assessment before determination that no plan required.................. 273

150........ Assessment of all fisheries without plans must be started within 5 years 274

151........ Assessment of all Torres Strait fisheries to be started within 5 years 275

152........ Further assessment if impacts greater than previously assessed...... 275

153........ Minister must make declaration if he or she endorses plan or policy 276

154........ This Division does not limit Division 1.......................................... 277

Part 11—Miscellaneous rules about assessments and approvals          278

Division 1—Rules about timing                                                                           278

155........ This Chapter ceases to apply to lapsed proposals............................ 278

156........ General rules about time limits........................................................ 279

Division 1A—Variation of proposals to take actions                              280

156A..... Request to vary proposal to take an action...................................... 280

156B..... Minister must decide whether or not to accept a varied proposal.... 281

156C..... Minister may request further information in relation to a varied proposal                281

156D..... Effect of Minister’s decision to accept or not accept a varied proposal 282

156E...... Notice of decision........................................................................... 283

Division 1B—Change of person proposing to take action                    284

156F...... Change of person proposing to take action..................................... 284

Division 2—Actions in area offshore from a State or the Northern Territory 286

157........ Actions treated as though they were in a State or the Northern Territory 286

Division 3—Exemptions                                                                                          287

158........ Exemptions from Part 3 and this Chapter........................................ 287

Division 3A—Approval process decisions not affected by listing events that happen after section 75 decision made                                                                                      288

158A..... Approval process decisions not affected by listing events that happen after section 75 decision made    288

Division 4—Application of Chapter to actions that are not controlled actions 291

Subdivision A—Minister’s advice on authorising actions                           291

159........ Simplified outline of this Subdivision............................................. 291

160........ Requirement to take account of Minister’s advice........................... 292

161........ Seeking the Minister’s advice......................................................... 294

161A..... Minister may decide that advice is not required............................... 295

161B..... Certain provisions of other Acts not to apply if Minister decides that advice is not required   296

162........ Assessment of the action................................................................. 297

163........ Providing advice............................................................................. 297

164........ Reporting on response to advice..................................................... 298

Subdivision C—Assessment under agreement with State or Territory    298

166........ This Subdivision applies if Ministers agree it should...................... 298

167........ Making an agreement...................................................................... 299

168........ Content of an agreement.................................................................. 300

169........ Application of a Division of Part 8................................................. 302

170........ Application of Subdivision A of Division 1 of Part 10................... 303

Division 5—Publication of information relating to assessments        304

170A..... Publication of information relating to assessments.......................... 304

170B..... Information critical to protecting matters of national environmental significance not to be disclosed       305

170BA.. Designated proponent may request Minister to permit commercial‑in‑confidence information not to be disclosed  305

Division 6—Withdrawal of referrals                                                               308

170C..... Withdrawal of referral of proposal to take an action........................ 308

Division 7—Miscellaneous                                                                                     309

170CA.. Fees................................................................................................. 309

Chapter 5—Conservation of biodiversity and heritage    310

Part 11A—Interpretation                                                                                              310

170D..... References to business days are references to Canberra business days 310

Part 12—Identifying and monitoring biodiversity and making bioregional plans             311

Division 1—Identifying and monitoring biodiversity                              311

171........ Identifying and monitoring biodiversity.......................................... 311

172........ Inventories of listed threatened species etc. on Commonwealth land 312

173........ Surveys of cetaceans, listed threatened species etc. in Commonwealth marine areas                313

174........ Inventories and surveys to be updated............................................ 313

Division 2—Bioregional plans                                                                              314

176........ Bioregional plans............................................................................ 314

177........ Obligations under this Act unaffected by lack of bioregional plans 315

Part 13—Species and communities                                                                          316

Division 1—Listed threatened species and ecological communities 316

Subdivision A—Listing                                                                                         316

178........ Listing of threatened species........................................................... 316

179........ Categories of threatened species...................................................... 317

180........ Native species of marine fish.......................................................... 318

181........ Listing of threatened ecological communities.................................. 319

182........ Critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable communities...... 320

183........ Listing of key threatening processes............................................... 320

184........ Minister may amend lists................................................................ 320

186........ Amending list of threatened native species...................................... 321

187........ Amending list of ecological communities........................................ 323

188........ Amending list of key threatening processes.................................... 324

189........ Minister must consider advice from Scientific Committee.............. 325

189A..... Certain information may be kept confidential.................................. 326

189B..... Disclosure of Scientific Committee’s assessments and advice........ 327

190........ Scientific Committee may provide advice about species or communities becoming threatened                329

192........ Rediscovery of threatened species that were extinct........................ 329

193........ Species posing a serious threat to human health.............................. 329

194........ Lists must be publicly available....................................................... 330

Subdivision AA—The nomination and listing process                                  330

194A..... Simplified outline............................................................................ 330

194B..... Definitions...................................................................................... 331

194C..... Meaning of assessment period....................................................... 332

194D..... Minister may determine conservation themes for an assessment period 333

194E...... Minister to invite nominations for each assessment period............. 333

194F...... Minister to give nominations to Scientific Committee..................... 334

194G..... Scientific Committee to prepare proposed priority assessment list.. 336

194H..... Matters to be included in proposed priority assessment list............ 337

194J...... Statement to be given to Minister with proposed priority assessment list 338

194K..... The finalised priority assessment list............................................... 338

194L...... Publication of finalised priority assessment list............................... 339

194M.... Scientific Committee to invite comments on items in finalised priority assessment list            340

194N..... Scientific Committee to assess items on finalised priority assessment list and give assessments to Minister           341

194P...... Time by which assessments to be provided to Minister.................. 342

194Q..... Decision about inclusion of an item in the Subdivision A List........ 343

194R..... Scientific Committee may obtain advice.......................................... 344

194S...... Co‑ordination with Australian Heritage Council—Committee undertaking assessment           345

194T...... Co‑ordination with Australian Heritage Council—Committee given assessment to Minister   346

Subdivision B—Permit system                                                                            347

195........ Subdivision does not apply to cetaceans......................................... 347

196........ Killing or injuring member of listed threatened species or community 347

196A..... Strict liability for killing or injuring member of listed threatened species or community          348

196B..... Taking etc. member of listed threatened species or community....... 348

196C..... Strict liability for taking etc. member of listed threatened species or community      349

196D..... Trading etc. member of listed threatened species or community taken in Commonwealth area                350

196E...... Strict liability for trading etc. member of listed threatened species or community taken in Commonwealth area      350

196F...... Aggravated offence—member of listed threatened species that is a dugong or turtle               351

197........ Certain actions are not offences....................................................... 352

198........ Operation of sections 18 and 18A not affected............................... 354

199........ Failing to notify taking of listed threatened species or listed ecological community 354

200........ Application for permits................................................................... 356

201........ Minister may issue permits............................................................. 357

202........ Conditions of permits...................................................................... 358

203........ Contravening conditions of a permit............................................... 358

204........ Authorities under permits................................................................ 359

205........ Transfer of permits.......................................................................... 359

206........ Suspension or cancellation of permits............................................. 359

206A..... Review of decisions about permits.................................................. 360

207........ Fees................................................................................................. 360

Subdivision BA—Protecting critical habitat                                                   360

207A..... Register of critical habitat................................................................ 360

207B..... Offence of knowingly damaging critical habitat.............................. 361

207C..... Sale or lease of Commonwealth land containing critical habitat...... 362

Subdivision C—Miscellaneous                                                                            362

208A..... Minister may accredit plans, regimes or policies............................. 362

208........ Regulations..................................................................................... 364

Division 2—Migratory species                                                                            365

Subdivision A—Listing                                                                                         365

209........ Listed migratory species.................................................................. 365

Subdivision B—Permit system                                                                            366

210........ Subdivision does not apply to members of listed threatened species or cetaceans    366

211........ Killing or injuring member of listed migratory species.................... 366

211A..... Strict liability for killing or injuring member of listed migratory species  367

211B..... Taking etc. member of listed migratory species............................... 367

211C..... Strict liability for taking etc. member of listed migratory species.... 368

211D..... Trading etc. member of listed migratory species taken in Commonwealth area        368

211E...... Strict liability for trading etc. member of listed migratory species taken in Commonwealth area              369

211F...... Aggravated offence—member of listed migratory species that is a dugong or turtle                370

212........ Certain actions are not offences....................................................... 370

213........ Operation of sections 20 and 20A not affected............................... 373

214........ Failing to notify taking etc. of listed migratory species................... 373

215........ Application for permits................................................................... 375

216........ Minister may issue permits............................................................. 375

217........ Conditions of permits...................................................................... 376

218........ Contravening conditions of a permit............................................... 377

219........ Authorities under permits................................................................ 377

220........ Transfer of permits.......................................................................... 378

221........ Suspension or cancellation of permits............................................. 378

221A..... Review of decisions about permits.................................................. 378

222........ Fees................................................................................................. 378

Subdivision C—Miscellaneous                                                                            379

222A..... Minister may accredit plans, regimes or policies............................. 379

223........ Regulations..................................................................................... 380

Division 3—Whales and other cetaceans                                                       381

Subdivision A—Application of Division                                                           381

224........ Application of Division................................................................... 381

Subdivision B—Australian Whale Sanctuary and important cetacean habitat areas  382

225........ Australian Whale Sanctuary............................................................ 382

226........ Prescribed waters............................................................................ 382

227........ Coastal waters................................................................................. 383

228........ Minister may make declaration for coastal waters........................... 383

228A..... Important cetacean habitat areas...................................................... 384

Subdivision C—Offences                                                                                      384

229........ Killing or injuring a cetacean........................................................... 384

229A..... Strict liability for killing or injuring a cetacean................................ 385

229B..... Intentionally taking etc. a cetacean................................................... 385

229C..... Strict liability for taking etc. a cetacean............................................ 387

229D..... Treating cetaceans........................................................................... 387

230........ Possession of cetaceans.................................................................. 388

231........ Certain actions are not offences....................................................... 389

232........ Action to be taken on killing etc. cetaceans..................................... 391

Subdivision E—Miscellaneous offences                                                           393

236........ Offences relating to foreign whaling vessels................................... 393

Subdivision F—Permit system                                                                            394

237........ Application for permits................................................................... 394

238........ Minister may issue permits............................................................. 395

239........ Conditions of permits...................................................................... 396

240........ Contravening conditions of a permit............................................... 397

241........ Authorities under permits................................................................ 397

242........ Transfer of permits.......................................................................... 398

243........ Suspension or cancellation of permits............................................. 398

243A..... Review of decisions about permits.................................................. 398

244........ Fees................................................................................................. 398

Subdivision G—Miscellaneous                                                                           399

245........ Minister may accredit plans, regimes or policies............................. 399

246........ Vesting of whales in Commonwealth............................................. 400

247........ Regulations..................................................................................... 400

Division 4—Listed marine species                                                                     402

Subdivision A—Listing                                                                                         402

248........ Listed marine species...................................................................... 402

249........ Minister may amend list.................................................................. 402

250........ Adding marine species to the list..................................................... 403

251........ Minister must consider advice from Scientific Committee.............. 404

252........ Minister to make lists available to the public................................... 404

Subdivision B—Permit system                                                                            405

253........ Subdivision does not apply to members of certain species and cetaceans 405

254........ Killing or injuring member of listed marine species........................ 405

254A..... Strict liability for killing or injuring member of listed marine species 405

254B..... Taking etc. member of listed marine species................................... 406

254C..... Strict liability for taking etc. member of listed marine species......... 407

254D..... Trading etc. member of listed marine species taken in Commonwealth area             407

254E...... Strict liability for trading etc. member of listed marine species taken in Commonwealth area  408

254F...... Aggravated offence—member of listed marine species that is a dugong or turtle     408

255........ Certain actions are not offences....................................................... 409

256........ Failing to notify taking etc. of listed marine wildlife....................... 411

257........ Application for permits................................................................... 413

258........ Minister may issue permits............................................................. 413

259........ Conditions of permits...................................................................... 414

260........ Contravening conditions of a permit............................................... 415

261........ Authorities under permits................................................................ 415

262........ Transfer of permits.......................................................................... 416

263........ Suspension or cancellation of permits............................................. 416

263A..... Review of decisions about permits.................................................. 416

264........ Fees................................................................................................. 416

Subdivision C—Miscellaneous                                                                            417

265........ Minister may accredit plans, regimes or policies............................. 417

266........ Regulations..................................................................................... 418


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 c