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A Bill for an Act to amend the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and for related purposes
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Registered 13 Feb 2020
Introduced Senate 13 Feb 2020
Table of contents.

2019‑2020

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Climate Trigger) Bill 2020

 

No.      , 2020

 

(Senator Hanson‑Young)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to amend the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and for related purposes

  

  


Contents

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

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

3............ Schedules............................................................................................ 2

Schedule 1—Emissions‑intensive actions                                                                 3

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999                   3

 

 


A Bill for an Act to amend the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1  Short title

                   This Act is the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Climate Trigger) Act 2020.

2  Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  The whole of this Act

The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally enacted. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this Act.

             (2)  Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this Act. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this Act.

3  Schedules

                   Legislation that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

Schedule 1Emissions‑intensive actions

  

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

1  After Subdivision FB of Division 1 of Part 3

Insert:

Subdivision FCEmissions‑intensive actions

24F  Purpose of this Subdivision

                   The purpose of this Subdivision is to fulfil Australia’s obligations under the Climate Change Conventions.

24G  Requirement for approval of emissions‑intensive actions

             (1)  A person must not take an emissions‑intensive action if the action 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)  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 person who wishes to rely on subsection (2) in proceedings for a contravention of a civil penalty provision bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in that subsection.

24H  Offence relating to emissions‑intensive actions

             (1)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person takes an emissions‑intensive action; and

                     (b)  the action has, will have or is likely to have a significant impact on the environment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note:          The defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (2) (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code).

24J  What is an emissions‑intensive action?

                   An action is an emissions‑intensive action if the action:

                     (a)  involves mining operations; or

                     (b)  involves drilling exploration; or

                     (c)  involves land clearing; or

                     (d)  is specified in the regulations for the purposes of this paragraph.

2  At the end of subsection 25AA(2)

Add:

                    ; (j)  subsection 24H(1).

3  After paragraph 25AA(3)(gb)

Insert:

                    (gc)  subsection 24G(1);

4  Subsection 29(1)

Omit “24D or 24E”, substitute “24D, 24E, 24G or 24H”.

5  Section 34 (after table item 13J)

Insert:

13K

section 24G

the environment

13L

section 24H

the environment

6  Subsections 46(1), (2) and (2A)

Omit “24D or 24E”, substitute “24D, 24E, 24G or 24H”.

7  After subparagraph 304(1)(a)(viia)

Insert:

                         (viib)  the environment, in respect of the impact of an emissions‑intensive action;

8  After paragraph 305(1)(ga)

Insert:

                   (gb)  the environment, in respect of the impact of an emissions‑intensive action;

9  After subparagraph 305(1A)(b)(via)

Insert:

                          (vib)  the environment, in respect of the impact of an emissions‑intensive action;

10  After paragraph 305(2)(ea)

Insert:

                   (eb)  in the case of a proposed agreement wholly or partly for the protection and conservation of the environment, in respect of the impact of emissions‑intensive actions—the agreement is not inconsistent with Australia’s obligations under any of the Climate Change Conventions; and

11  After subparagraph 306(1)(a)(viia)

Insert:

                         (viib)  the environment, in respect of the impact of an emissions‑intensive action;

12  After subparagraph 306(1)(b)(viia)

Insert:

                         (viib)  the environment, in respect of the impact of an emissions‑intensive action; or

13  After subparagraph 306(2)(a)(viia)

Insert:

                         (viib)  the environment, in respect of the impact of an emissions‑intensive action;

14  After subparagraph 306(2)(b)(viia)

Insert:

                         (viib)  the environment, in respect of the impact of an emissions‑intensive action; or

15  After subparagraph 495(2)(a)(via)

Insert:

                          (vib)  section 24H (Offence relating to emissions‑intensive actions); or

16  After subparagraph 496C(1)(a)(viia)

Insert:

                         (viib)  section 24H (Offence relating to emissions‑intensive actions); or

17  Section 528

Insert:

Climate Change Conventions has the same meaning as in the Product Emissions Standards Act 2017.

emissions‑intensive action: see section 24J.

18  Application provision

The amendments made by this Schedule apply in relation to an action that begins on or after the day this item commences.

19  Transitional regulations

The Governor‑General may make regulations prescribing matters of a transitional nature (including any saving or application provisions) relating to the amendments made by this Schedule.