Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Act No. 91 of 1999 as amended, taking into account amendments up to Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Amendment (Jabiru) Act 2020
An Act relating to the protection of the environment and the conservation of biodiversity, and for related purposes
Administered by: Agriculture, Water and the Environment
Registered 30 Sep 2020
Start Date 18 Sep 2020

Commonwealth Coat of Arms of Australia

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

No. 91, 1999

Compilation No. 54

Compilation date:                              18 September 2020

Includes amendments up to:            Act No. 87, 2020

Registered:                                         30 September 2020

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 18 September 2020 (the compilation date).

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 the Legislation Register (www.legislation.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 the Legislation Register 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.

Editorial changes

For more information about any editorial changes made in this compilation, see 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 the Legislation Register 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............................................................................................................ 8

7............ Application of the Criminal Code....................................................... 9

8............ Native title rights not affected............................................................ 10

9............ Relationship with other Acts............................................................. 10

10.......... Relationship with State law............................................................... 11

Chapter 2—Protecting the environment                                              12

Part 2—Simplified outline of this Chapter                                                           12

11.......... Simplified outline of this Chapter...................................................... 12

Part 3—Requirements for environmental approvals                                     13

Division 1—Requirements relating to matters of national environmental significance                13

Subdivision A—World Heritage                                                                          13

12.......... Requirement for approval of activities with a significant impact on a declared World Heritage property 13

13.......... What is a declared World Heritage property?.................................. 14

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

15.......... Amending or revoking a declaration of a declared World Heritage property            17

15A....... Offences relating to declared World Heritage properties................... 17

Subdivision AA—National Heritage                                                                   19

15B....... Requirement for approval of activities with a significant impact on a National Heritage place 19

15C....... Offences relating to National Heritage places.................................... 21

Subdivision B—Wetlands of international importance                                 27

16.......... Requirement for approval of activities with a significant impact on a declared Ramsar wetland               27

17.......... What is a declared Ramsar wetland?................................................ 28

17A....... Making and revoking declarations of wetlands................................. 28

17B....... Offences relating to declared Ramsar wetlands................................. 30

Subdivision C—Listed threatened species and communities                         31

18.......... Actions with significant impact on listed threatened species or endangered community prohibited without approval.......................................................................................................... 31

18A....... Offences relating to threatened species etc........................................ 33

19.......... Certain actions relating to listed threatened species and listed threatened ecological communities not prohibited     35

Subdivision D—Listed migratory species                                                          36

20.......... Requirement for approval of activities with a significant impact on a listed migratory species 36

20A....... Offences relating to listed migratory species..................................... 36

20B....... Certain actions relating to listed migratory species not prohibited..... 38

Subdivision E—Protection of the environment from nuclear actions        38

21.......... Requirement for approval of nuclear actions..................................... 38

22.......... What is a nuclear action?.................................................................. 39

22A....... Offences relating to nuclear actions................................................... 41

Subdivision F—Marine environment                                                                  43

23.......... Requirement for approval of activities involving the marine environment                43

24.......... What is a Commonwealth marine area?........................................... 46

24A....... Offences relating to marine areas...................................................... 46

Subdivision FA—Great Barrier Reef Marine Park                                        51

24B....... Requirement for approval of activities in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park          51

24C....... Offences relating to Great Barrier Reef Marine Park........................ 52

Subdivision FB—Protection of water resources from coal seam gas development and large coal mining development                                                                                 55

24D....... Requirement for approval of developments with a significant impact on water resources        55

24E........ Offences relating to water resources................................................. 57

Subdivision G—Additional matters of national environmental significance 59

25.......... Requirement for approval of prescribed actions................................ 59

Subdivision H—Actions that are taken to be covered by this Division       61

25A....... Actions that are taken to be covered by this Division........................ 61

Subdivision HA—Limitation on liability for actions of third parties        62

25AA.... Limitation on liability for actions of third parties............................... 62

Subdivision I—Evidentiary certificates                                                             64

25B....... Evidentiary certificates...................................................................... 64

25C....... Certificate to be given to person........................................................ 65

25D....... Evidentiary effect of certificate.......................................................... 65

25E........ Variation of certificate....................................................................... 65

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

Division 2—Protection of the environment from proposals involving the Commonwealth        67

Subdivision A—Protection of environment from actions involving Commonwealth land         67

26.......... Requirement for approval of activities involving Commonwealth land 67

27.......... What is Commonwealth land?.......................................................... 68

27A....... Offences relating to Commonwealth land......................................... 68

Subdivision AA—Protection of Commonwealth Heritage places outside the Australian jurisdiction     71

27B....... Requirement for approval of actions with significant impact on Commonwealth Heritage places overseas             71

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

Subdivision B—Protection of the environment from Commonwealth actions               73

28.......... Requirement for approval of activities of Commonwealth agencies significantly affecting the environment            73

Subdivision C—Actions that are taken to be covered by this Division       75

28AA.... Actions that are taken to be covered by this Division........................ 75

Subdivision D—Limitation on liability for actions of third parties            76

28AB.... Limitation on liability for actions of third parties............................... 76

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....................... 78

Division 2—Actions covered by Ministerial declarations and accredited management arrangements or accredited authorisation processes                                           80

Subdivision A—Effect of declarations                                                               80

32.......... Actions declared by Minister not to need approval........................... 80

Subdivision B—Making declarations                                                                 81

33.......... Making declaration that actions do not need approval under Part 9... 81

34.......... What is matter protected by a provision of Part 3?........................... 85

Subdivision C—Prerequisites for making declarations                                 88

34A....... Minister may only make declaration if prescribed criteria are met..... 88

34B....... Declarations relating to declared World Heritage properties.............. 88

34BA.... Declarations relating to National Heritage places.............................. 89

34C....... Declarations relating to declared Ramsar wetlands............................ 89

34D....... Declarations relating to listed threatened species and ecological communities          90

34E........ Declarations relating to migratory species......................................... 91

34F........ Declarations relating to Commonwealth Heritage places................... 92

Subdivision D—Other rules about declarations                                               93

35.......... Revoking declarations....................................................................... 93

36.......... Other rules about declarations........................................................... 93

36A....... Minor amendments of accredited management arrangement or accredited authorisation process             94

Division 3—Actions covered by Ministerial declarations and bioregional plans             96

Subdivision A—Effect of declarations                                                               96

37.......... Actions declared by Minister not to need approval........................... 96

Subdivision B—Making declarations                                                                 96

37A....... Making declarations that actions do not need approval under Part 9. 96

Subdivision C—Prerequisites for making declarations                                 97

37B....... General considerations...................................................................... 97

37C....... Minister may make declaration only if prescribed criteria are met..... 97

37D....... Declarations relating to declared World Heritage properties.............. 97

37E........ Declarations relating to National Heritage places.............................. 98

37F........ Declarations relating to declared Ramsar wetlands............................ 98

37G....... Declarations relating to listed threatened species and ecological communities          99

37H....... Declarations relating to listed migratory species................................ 99

37J........ No declarations relating to nuclear actions...................................... 100

Subdivision D—Other rules about declarations                                             100

37K....... Revoking declarations..................................................................... 100

37L........ Other rules about declarations......................................................... 100

Division 3A—Actions covered by conservation agreements               102

37M...... Actions declared by conservation agreement not to need approval.. 102

Division 4—Forestry operations in certain regions                                 103

Subdivision A—Regions covered by regional forest agreements              103

38.......... Part 3 not to apply to certain RFA forestry operations.................... 103

Subdivision B—Regions subject to a process of negotiating a regional forest agreement          103

39.......... Object of this Subdivision............................................................... 103

40.......... Forestry operations in regions not yet covered by regional forest agreements          104

41.......... What is an RFA region?.................................................................. 105

Subdivision C—Limits on application                                                              106

42.......... This Division does not apply to some forestry operations.............. 106

Division 5—Actions in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park             107

43.......... Actions taken in accordance with zoning plan................................. 107

Division 6Actions with prior authorisation                                              108

43A....... Actions with prior authorisation...................................................... 108

43B....... Actions which are lawful continuations of use of land etc.............. 109

Chapter 3—Bilateral agreements                                                              110

Part 5—Bilateral agreements                                                                                      110

Division 1—Object of Part                                                                                    110

44.......... Object of this Part........................................................................... 110

Division 2—Making bilateral agreements                                                     111

Subdivision A—Power to make bilateral agreements                                  111

45.......... Minister may make agreement......................................................... 111

46.......... Agreement may declare actions do not need approval under Part 9. 112

47.......... Agreement may declare classes of actions do not need assessment. 117

48.......... Other provisions of bilateral agreements......................................... 118

48A....... Mandatory provisions..................................................................... 119

49.......... Certain limits on scope of bilateral agreements................................ 121

Subdivision B—Prerequisites for making bilateral agreements               121

49A....... Consultation on draft agreement...................................................... 121

50.......... Minister may only enter into agreement if prescribed criteria are met 122

51.......... Agreements relating to declared World Heritage properties............ 122

51A....... Agreements relating to National Heritage places............................. 123

52.......... Agreements relating to declared Ramsar wetlands.......................... 123

53.......... Agreements relating to listed threatened species and ecological communities           124

54.......... Agreements relating to migratory species........................................ 125

55.......... Agreements relating to nuclear actions............................................ 126

56.......... Agreements relating to prescribed actions....................................... 127

Subdivision C—Minor amendments of bilateral agreements                     127

56A....... Ministerial determination of minor amendments to bilateral agreements.. 127

Division 3—Suspending and ending the effect of bilateral agreements  129

Subdivision A—Suspension and cancellation of effect                                 129

57.......... Representations about suspension or cancellation........................... 129

58.......... Consultation before cancellation or suspension............................... 130

59.......... Suspension or cancellation.............................................................. 130

60.......... Emergency suspension of effect of bilateral agreement................... 132

61.......... Cancellation during suspension....................................................... 133

62.......... Revocation of notice of suspension or cancellation......................... 133

63.......... Cancellation or suspension at request of other party....................... 134

64.......... Cancellation or suspension of bilateral agreement does not affect certain actions     135

Subdivision B—Expiry of bilateral agreements                                            136

65.......... Expiry and review of bilateral agreements....................................... 136

65A....... Expiry of bilateral agreement does not affect certain actions........... 136

Chapter 4—Environmental assessments and approvals  138

Part 6—Simplified outline of this Chapter                                                         138

66.......... Simplified outline of this Chapter.................................................... 138

Part 7—Deciding whether approval of actions is needed                          140

Division 1—Referral of proposals to take action                                      140

67.......... What is a controlled action?............................................................ 140

67A....... Prohibition on taking controlled action without approval................ 140

68.......... Referral by person proposing to take action.................................... 140

68A....... Actions proposed to be taken under a contract etc........................... 141

69.......... State or Territory may refer proposal to Minister............................ 142

70.......... Minister may request referral of proposal....................................... 142

71.......... Commonwealth agency may refer proposal to Minister.................. 144

72.......... Form and content of referrals.......................................................... 144

73.......... Informing person proposing to take action of referral..................... 144

73A....... Informing Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority of proposal affecting Great Barrier Reef Marine Park          145

74.......... Inviting provision of information on referred proposal................... 145

74A....... Minister may request referral of a larger action............................... 147

74AA.... Offence of taking action before decision made in relation to referral etc.  148

Division 1A—Decision that action is clearly unacceptable                  151

74B....... Application of this Division............................................................ 151

74C....... Informing person proposing to take action that action is clearly unacceptable          151

74D....... Procedure if Minister is requested to reconsider referral................. 152

Division 2—Ministerial decision whether action needs approval     155

75.......... Does the proposed action need approval?....................................... 155

76.......... Minister may request more information for making decisions........ 158

77.......... Notice and reasons for decision...................................................... 159

77A....... Action to be taken in a particular manner........................................ 160

Division 3—Reconsideration of decisions                                                      162

78.......... Reconsideration of decision............................................................ 162

78A....... Request for reconsideration of decision by person other than State or Territory Minister        165

78B....... Minister must inform interested persons of request and invite comments                166

78C....... Minister must reconsider decision and give notice of outcome....... 168

79.......... Reconsideration of decision on request by a State or Territory....... 169

Part 8—Assessing impacts of controlled actions                                             171

Division 1—Simplified outline of this Part                                                     171

80.......... Simplified outline of this Part.......................................................... 171

Division 2—Application of this Part                                                                 172

81.......... Application...................................................................................... 172

82.......... What are the relevant impacts of an action?.................................... 172

83.......... This Part does not apply if action covered by bilateral agreement... 173

84.......... This Part does not apply if action covered by declaration................ 174

Division 3—Decision on assessment approach                                            177

Subdivision A—Simplified outline of this Division                                       177

85.......... Simplified outline of this Division.................................................. 177

Subdivision B—Deciding on approach for assessment                                 177

87.......... Minister must decide on approach for assessment.......................... 177

88.......... Timing of decision on assessment approach................................... 179

89.......... Minister may request more information for making decision.......... 180

90.......... Directing an inquiry after starting an assessment............................ 181

91.......... Notice of decision on assessment approach.................................... 182

Division 3A—Assessment on referral information                                   183

92.......... Application of this Division............................................................ 183

93.......... Recommendation report.................................................................. 183

Division 4—Assessment on preliminary documentation                        185

94.......... Application of this Division............................................................ 185

95.......... Direction to publish referral information and invitation to comment—no further information required    185

95A....... Direction to publish referral information and invitation to comment—further information required         186

95B....... Procedure after end of period for comment..................................... 187

95C....... Recommendation report.................................................................. 188

Division 5—Public environment reports                                                        189

96.......... Application...................................................................................... 189

96A....... Minister must give designated proponent written guidelines for preparation of draft public environment report     189

96B....... Standard guidelines......................................................................... 190

97.......... Tailored guidelines.......................................................................... 190

98.......... Designated proponent must invite comment on draft public environment report      192

99.......... Finalising public environment report............................................... 193

100........ Recommendation report.................................................................. 194

Division 6—Environmental impact statements                                           195

101........ Application...................................................................................... 195

101A..... Minister must give designated proponent written guidelines for preparation of draft environmental impact statement........................................................................................................ 195

101B..... Standard guidelines......................................................................... 196

102........ Tailored guidelines.......................................................................... 196

103........ Designated proponent must invite comment on draft environmental impact statement             198

104........ Finalising environmental impact statement...................................... 199

105........ Recommendation report.................................................................. 200

Division 7—Inquiries                                                                                                201

Subdivision A—Preliminary                                                                               201

106........ Simplified outline............................................................................ 201

Subdivision B—Establishment of inquiries                                                     201

107........ Appointing commissioners and setting terms of reference.............. 201

108........ Publicising inquiry.......................................................................... 203

Subdivision C—Conduct of inquiries                                                                203

109........ Procedure of inquiries..................................................................... 203

110........ Inquiry to be public......................................................................... 204

111........ Calling witnesses............................................................................ 204

112........ Dealing with witnesses................................................................... 205

113........ Dealing with documents given to commission................................ 207

114........ Inspections of land, buildings and places........................................ 207

115........ Entering premises by consent.......................................................... 208

116........ Entering premises under warrant..................................................... 208

117........ Warrants by telephone or other electronic means............................ 209

118........ Identity cards................................................................................... 211

119........ Contempt......................................................................................... 212

120........ Protection of commissioners and witnesses.................................... 212

Subdivision D—Inquiry reports                                                                         214

121........ Timing of report.............................................................................. 214

122........ Publication of report........................................................................ 215

Subdivision E—Commissioners’ terms and conditions                                215

123........ Basis of appointment....................................................................... 215

124........ Remuneration.................................................................................. 215

125........ Leave of absence............................................................................. 216

126........ Resignation..................................................................................... 216

127........ Termination of appointment............................................................ 216

128........ Disclosure of interests..................................................................... 217

129........ Other terms and conditions............................................................. 218

Part 9—Approval of actions                                                                                        219

Division 1—Decisions on approval and conditions                                   219

Subdivision A—General                                                                                       219

130........ Timing of decision on approval....................................................... 219

131........ Inviting comments from other Ministers before decision................ 221

131AA.. Inviting comments before decision from person proposing to take action and designated proponent       221

131AB.. Minister must obtain advice from Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development................................................................................... 224

131A..... Inviting public comment before decision......................................... 224

132........ Requesting further information for approval decision..................... 225

132A..... Requesting notice from appropriate State or Territory Minister about certain actions               226

132B..... Election to have an action management plan approved after approval of the taking of an action granted  227

133........ Grant of approval............................................................................ 227

134........ Conditions of approval.................................................................... 230

134A..... Inviting public comment before approving action management plan 235

135........ Certain approvals and conditions must not give preference............. 235

135A..... Publication of recommendation reports........................................... 236

Subdivision B—Considerations for approvals and conditions                   237

136........ General considerations.................................................................... 237

137........ Requirements for decisions about World Heritage.......................... 239

137A..... Requirements for decisions about National Heritage places............ 239

138........ Requirements for decisions about Ramsar wetlands....................... 240

139........ Requirements for decisions about threatened species and endangered communities 240

140........ Requirements for decisions about migratory species....................... 241

140A..... No approval for certain nuclear installations................................... 241

Division 2—Requirement to comply with conditions                               242

142........ Compliance with conditions on approval........................................ 242

142A..... Offence of breaching conditions on approval.................................. 242

142B..... Strict liability offence for breach of approval condition................... 243

Division 3—Variation of conditions and suspension and revocation of approvals          245

143........ Variation of conditions attached to approval................................... 245

143A..... Variation of action management plan.............................................. 247

144........ Suspension of approval................................................................... 248

145........ Revocation of approval................................................................... 250

145A..... Reinstating suspended or revoked approval.................................... 251

Division 4—Transfer of approvals                                                                    254

145B..... Transfer with Minister’s consent.................................................... 254

Division 5—Extension of period of effect of approval                            256

145C..... Application to Minister to extend period of effect of approval........ 256

145D..... Minister must decide whether or not to extend approval period...... 256

145E...... Minister may request further information for making decision....... 257

Part 10—Strategic assessments                                                                                  258

Division 1—Strategic assessments generally                                               258

Subdivision A—Assessment of actions to be taken in accordance with policy, plan or program              258

146........ Minister may agree on strategic assessment.................................... 258

Subdivision B—Approval of taking of actions in accordance with endorsed policy, plan or program   260

146A..... Definition........................................................................................ 260

146B..... Minister may approve taking of actions in accordance with endorsed policy, plan or program                260

146C..... Inviting comments from other Ministers before deciding whether or not to approve taking of actions in accordance with endorsed policy, plan or program.................................................... 262

146D..... Effect of approval of taking of actions in accordance with endorsed policy, plan or program  262

Subdivision C—Considerations for approving taking of actions in accordance with endorsed policy, plan or program                                                                                      264

146E...... Minister must comply with this Subdivision................................... 264

146F...... General considerations.................................................................... 264

146G..... Approvals relating to declared World Heritage properties............... 264

146H..... Approvals relating to National Heritage places............................... 265

146J...... Approvals relating to declared Ramsar wetlands............................. 265

146K..... Approvals relating to listed threatened species and ecological communities             265

146L...... Approvals relating to listed migratory species................................. 266

146M.... No approvals relating to nuclear actions.......................................... 266

Division 2—Assessment of Commonwealth‑managed fisheries         267

147........ Simplified outline of this Division.................................................. 267

148........ Assessment before management plan is determined........................ 268

149........ Assessment before determination that no plan required.................. 268

150........ Assessment of all fisheries without plans must be started within 5 years 269

151........ Assessment of all Torres Strait fisheries to be started within 5 years 270

152........ Further assessment if impacts greater than previously assessed...... 270

153........ Minister must make declaration if he or she endorses plan or policy 271

154........ This Division does not limit Division 1.......................................... 272

Part 11—Miscellaneous rules about assessments and approvals          273

Division 1—Rules about timing                                                                           273

155........ This Chapter ceases to apply to lapsed proposals............................ 273

156........ General rules about time limits........................................................ 274

Division 1A—Variation of proposals to take actions                              275

156A..... Request to vary proposal to take an action...................................... 275

156B..... Minister must decide whether or not to accept a varied proposal.... 276

156C..... Minister may request further information in relation to a varied proposal                276

156D..... Effect of Minister’s decision to accept or not accept a varied proposal 277

156E...... Notice of decision........................................................................... 278

Division 1B—Change of person proposing to take action                    279

156F...... Change of person proposing to take action..................................... 279

Division 2—Actions in area offshore from a State or the Northern Territory 281

157........ Actions treated as though they were in a State or the Northern Territory 281

Division 3—Exemptions                                                                                          282

158........ Exemptions from Part 3 and this Chapter........................................ 282

Division 3A—Approval process decisions not affected by listing events that happen after section 75 decision made                                                                                      283

158A..... Approval process decisions not affected by listing events that happen after section 75 decision made    283

Division 4—Application of Chapter to actions that are not controlled actions 286

Subdivision A—Minister’s advice on authorising actions                           286

159........ Simplified outline of this Subdivision............................................. 286

160........ Requirement to take account of Minister’s advice........................... 287

161........ Seeking the Minister’s advice......................................................... 289

161A..... Minister may decide that advice is not required............................... 290

161B..... Certain provisions of other Acts not to apply if Minister decides that advice is not required   291

162........ Assessment of the action................................................................. 291

163........ Providing advice............................................................................. 292

164........ Reporting on response to advice..................................................... 293

Subdivision C—Assessment under agreement with State or Territory    293

166........ This Subdivision applies if Ministers agree it should...................... 293

167........ Making an agreement...................................................................... 294

168........ Content of an agreement.................................................................. 295

169........ Application of a Division of Part 8................................................. 296

170........ Application of Subdivision A of Division 1 of Part 10................... 298

Division 5—Publication of information relating to assessments        299

170A..... Publication of information relating to assessments.......................... 299

170B..... Information critical to protecting matters of national environmental significance not to be disclosed       300

170BA.. Designated proponent may request Minister to permit commercial‑in‑confidence information not to be disclosed  300

Division 6—Withdrawal of referrals                                                               303

170C..... Withdrawal of referral of proposal to take an action........................ 303

Division 7—Miscellaneous                                                                                     304

170CA.. Fees................................................................................................. 304

Chapter 5—Conservation of biodiversity and heritage    305

Part 11A—Interpretation                                                                                              305

170D..... References to business days are references to Canberra business days 305

Part 12—Identifying and monitoring biodiversity and making bioregional plans             306

Division 1—Identifying and monitoring biodiversity                              306

171........ Identifying and monitoring biodiversity.......................................... 306

172........ Inventories of listed threatened species etc. on Commonwealth land 307

173........ Surveys of cetaceans, listed threatened species etc. in Commonwealth marine areas                308

174........ Inventories and surveys to be updated............................................ 308

Division 2—Bioregional plans                                                                              309

176........ Bioregional plans............................................................................ 309

177........ Obligations under this Act unaffected by lack of bioregional plans 310

Part 13—Species and communities                                                                          311

Division 1—Listed threatened species and ecological communities 311

Subdivision A—Listing                                                                                         311

178........ Listing of threatened species........................................................... 311

179........ Categories of threatened species...................................................... 312

180........ Native species of marine fish.......................................................... 313

181........ Listing of threatened ecological communities.................................. 314

182........ Critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable communities...... 315

183........ Listing of key threatening processes............................................... 315

184........ Minister may amend lists................................................................ 315

186........ Amending list of threatened native species...................................... 316

187........ Amending list of ecological communities........................................ 318

188........ Amending list of key threatening processes.................................... 319

189........ Minister must consider advice from Scientific Committee.............. 320

189A..... Certain information may be kept confidential.................................. 321

189B..... Disclosure of Scientific Committee’s assessments and advice........ 322

190........ Scientific Committee may provide advice about species or communities becoming threatened                324

192........ Rediscovery of threatened species that were extinct........................ 324

193........ Species posing a serious threat to human health.............................. 324

194........ Lists must be publicly available....................................................... 325

Subdivision AA—The nomination and listing process                                  325

194A..... Simplified outline............................................................................ 325

194B..... Definitions...................................................................................... 326

194C..... Meaning of assessment period....................................................... 327

194D..... Minister may determine conservation themes for an assessment period 327

194E...... Minister to invite nominations for each assessment period............. 328

194F...... Minister to give nominations to Scientific Committee..................... 329

194G..... Scientific Committee to prepare proposed priority assessment list.. 330

194H..... Matters to be included in proposed priority assessment list............ 332

194J...... Statement to be given to Minister with proposed priority assessment list 332

194K..... The finalised priority assessment list............................................... 333

194L...... Publication of finalised priority assessment list............................... 334

194M.... Scientific Committee to invite comments on items in finalised priority assessment list            334

194N..... Scientific Committee to assess items on finalised priority assessment list and give assessments to Minister           335

194P...... Time by which assessments to be provided to Minister.................. 336

194Q..... Decision about inclusion of an item in the Subdivision A List........ 337

194R..... Scientific Committee may obtain advice.......................................... 339

194S...... Co‑ordination with Australian Heritage Council—Committee undertaking assessment           339

194T...... Co‑ordination with Australian Heritage Council—Committee given assessment to Minister   341

Subdivision B—Permit system                                                                            341

195........ Subdivision does not apply to cetaceans......................................... 341

196........ Killing or injuring member of listed threatened species or community 342

196A..... Strict liability for killing or injuring member of listed threatened species or community          342

196B..... Taking etc. member of listed threatened species or community....... 343

196C..... Strict liability for taking etc. member of listed threatened species or community      344

196D..... Trading etc. member of listed threatened species or community taken in Commonwealth area                344

196E...... Strict liability for trading etc. member of listed threatened species or community taken in Commonwealth area      345

196F...... Aggravated offence—member of listed threatened species that is a dugong or turtle               345

197........ Certain actions are not offences....................................................... 346

198........ Operation of sections 18 and 18A not affected............................... 349

199........ Failing to notify taking of listed threatened species or listed ecological community 349

200........ Application for permits................................................................... 350

201........ Minister may issue permits............................................................. 351

202........ Conditions of permits...................................................................... 352

203........ Contravening conditions of a permit............................................... 353

204........ Authorities under permits................................................................ 353

205........ Transfer of permits.......................................................................... 354

206........ Suspension or cancellation of permits............................................. 354

206A..... Review of decisions about permits.................................................. 354

207........ Fees................................................................................................. 354

Subdivision BA—Protecting critical habitat                                                   355

207A..... Register of critical habitat................................................................ 355

207B..... Offence of knowingly damaging critical habitat.............................. 356

207C..... Sale or lease of Commonwealth land containing critical habitat...... 356

Subdivision C—Miscellaneous                                                                            357

208A..... Minister may accredit plans, regimes or policies............................. 357

208........ Regulations..................................................................................... 358

Division 2—Migratory species                                                                            359

Subdivision A—Listing                                                                                         359

209........ Listed migratory species.................................................................. 359

Subdivision B—Permit system                                                                            360

210........ Subdivision does not apply to members of listed threatened species or cetaceans    360

211........ Killing or injuring member of listed migratory species.................... 360

211A..... Strict liability for killing or injuring member of listed migratory species  361

211B..... Taking etc. member of listed migratory species............................... 361

211C..... Strict liability for taking etc. member of listed migratory species.... 362

211D..... Trading etc. member of listed migratory species taken in Commonwealth area        362

211E...... Strict liability for trading etc. member of listed migratory species taken in Commonwealth area              363

211F...... Aggravated offence—member of listed migratory species that is a dugong or turtle                364

212........ Certain actions are not offences....................................................... 364

213........ Operation of sections 20 and 20A not affected............................... 367

214........ Failing to notify taking etc. of listed migratory species................... 367

215........ Application for permits................................................................... 369

216........ Minister may issue permits............................................................. 369

217........ Conditions of permits...................................................................... 370

218........ Contravening conditions of a permit............................................... 370

219........ Authorities under permits................................................................ 371

220........ Transfer of permits.......................................................................... 371

221........ Suspension or cancellation of permits............................................. 372

221A..... Review of decisions about permits.................................................. 372

222........ Fees................................................................................................. 372

Subdivision C—Miscellaneous                                                                            372

222A..... Minister may accredit plans, regimes or policies............................. 372

223........ Regulations..................................................................................... 374

Division 3—Whales and other cetaceans                                                       375

Subdivision A—Application of Division                                                           375

224........ Application of Division................................................................... 375

Subdivision B—Australian Whale Sanctuary and important cetacean habitat areas  375

225........ Australian Whale Sanctuary............................................................ 375

226........ Prescribed waters............................................................................ 376

227........ Coastal waters................................................................................. 377

228........ Minister may make declaration for coastal waters........................... 377

228A..... Important cetacean habitat areas...................................................... 377

Subdivision C—Offences                                                                                      378

229........ Killing or injuring a cetacean........................................................... 378

229A..... Strict liability for killing or injuring a cetacean................................ 378

229B..... Intentionally taking etc. a cetacean................................................... 379

229C..... Strict liability for taking etc. a cetacean............................................ 380

229D..... Treating cetaceans........................................................................... 381

230........ Possession of cetaceans.................................................................. 382

231........ Certain actions are not offences....................................................... 383

232........ Action to be taken on killing etc. cetaceans..................................... 385

Subdivision E—Miscellaneous offences                                                           387

236........ Offences relating to foreign whaling vessels................................... 387

Subdivision F—Permit system                                                                            388

237........ Application for permits................................................................... 388

238........ Minister may issue permits............................................................. 388

239........ Conditions of permits...................................................................... 390

240........ Contravening conditions of a permit............................................... 390

241........ Authorities under permits................................................................ 390

242........ Transfer of permits.......................................................................... 391

243........ Suspension or cancellation of permits............................................. 391

243A..... Review of decisions about permits.................................................. 391

244........ Fees................................................................................................. 392

Subdivision G—Miscellaneous                                                                           392

245........ Minister may accredit plans, regimes or policies............................. 392

246........ Vesting of whales in Commonwealth............................................. 393

247........ Regulations..................................................................................... 394

Division 4—Listed marine species                                                                     395

Subdivision A—Listing                                                                                         395

248........ Listed marine species...................................................................... 395

249........ Minister may amend list.................................................................. 395

250........ Adding marine species to the list..................................................... 396

251........ Minister must consider advice from Scientific Committee.............. 397

252........ Minister to make lists available to the public................................... 397

Subdivision B—Permit system                                                                            398

253........ Subdivision does not apply to members of certain species and cetaceans 398

254........ Killing or injuring member of listed marine species........................ 398

254A..... Strict liability for killing or injuring member of listed marine species 398

254B..... Taking etc. member of listed marine species................................... 399

254C..... Strict liability for taking etc. member of listed marine species......... 400

254D..... Trading etc. member of listed marine species taken in Commonwealth area             400

254E...... Strict liability for trading etc. member of listed marine species taken in Commonwealth area  401

254F...... Aggravated offence—member of listed marine species that is a dugong or turtle     401

255........ Certain actions are not offences....................................................... 402

256........ Failing to notify taking etc. of listed marine wildlife....................... 404

257........ Application for permits................................................................... 406

258........ Minister may issue permits............................................................. 406

259........ Conditions of permits...................................................................... 407

260........ Contravening conditions of a permit............................................... 407

261........ Authorities under permits................................................................ 408

262........ Transfer of permits.......................................................................... 408

263........ Suspension or cancellation of permits............................................. 409

263A..... Review of decisions about permits.................................................. 409

264........ Fees................................................................................................. 409

Subdivision C—Miscellaneous                                                                            409

265........ Minister may accredit plans, regimes or policies............................. 409

266........ Regulations..................................................................................... 411


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 nationals; and

                     (b)  Australian permanent residents; 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.

Application in Greater Sunrise special regime area

          (4A)  Despite subsections (2) and (4), a provision of this Act that has effect in relation to a place that is in or above the Greater Sunrise special regime area applies only in relation to:

                     (a)  Australian nationals who are not nationals or permanent residents of Timor‑Leste; and

                     (b)  Australian permanent residents who are not nationals or permanent residents of Timor‑Leste; and

                     (c)  the Commonwealth; and

                     (d)  Commonwealth agencies; and

                     (e)  the States; and

                      (f)  the self‑governing Territories; and

                     (g)  agencies of the States or self‑governing Territories; and

                     (h)  Australian aircraft; and

                      (i)  Australian vessels; and

                      (j)  members of crews of Australian aircraft and Australian vessels (including persons in charge of aircraft or vessels); and

                     (k)  persons, aircraft or vessels declared under subsection (4B) to be subject to the provision.

          (4B)  The Minister may, by notifiable instrument, declare all or any of one or more of the following to be subject to a provision of this Act, if the Minister is satisfied that Timor‑Leste has agreed to them being subject to the provision as it has effect in relation to a place that is in or above the Greater Sunrise special regime area:

                     (a)  nationals of a foreign country who are not nationals or permanent residents of Timor‑Leste;

                     (b)  aircraft with the nationality of a foreign country other than Timor‑Leste;

                     (c)  vessels with the nationality of a foreign country other than Timor‑Leste;

                     (d)  members of crews (including persons in charge) of aircraft or vessels described in paragraph (b) or (c).

          (4C)  Despite subsections (2), (4) and (4A), a provision of this Act that has effect in relation to a place that is in or above the Greater Sunrise special regime area does not apply in relation to an act, omission, matter or thing that relates to any of the Petroleum Activities within the meaning of the Treaty between Australia and the Democratic Republic of Timor‑Leste Establishing their Maritime Boundaries in the Timor Sea done at New York on 6 March 2018, as in force from time to time.

Note:          The Treaty could in 2019 be viewed in the Australian Treaties Library on the AustLII website (http://www.austlii.edu.au).

          (4D)  Subsection 13AB(1) of the Seas and Submerged Lands Act 1973 does not affect the application of a provision of this Act.

Note:          Subsection 13AB(1) of the Seas and Submerged Lands Act 1973 provides that a law of the Commonwealth does not apply in relation to an act, omission, matter or thing directly or indirectly connected with the exploration of, or exploitation of the natural resources of, the continental shelf in the Greater Sunrise special regime area.

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 national means:

                     (a)  an Australian citizen; or

                     (b)  a corporation incorporated in Australia or an external Territory.

Australian permanent resident means a person who:

                     (a)  is not an Australian citizen; and

                     (b)  holds a permanent visa under the Migration Act 1958; and

                     (c)  is domiciled in Australia or an external Territory.

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.

Greater Sunrise special regime area has the same meaning as in the Seas and Submerged Lands Act 1973.

national of a foreign country means:

                     (a)  a citizen of the country; or

                     (b)  a corporation incorporated in the country.

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 commits 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 commits 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 commit an offence against section 495.

Note 3:       If a person takes an action on land that contravenes this section, a landholder may commit 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, commits 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, commits 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 commits 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 commits 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 commits 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 commits 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 commits 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 commits 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 commits 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 commits 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 commit an offence against section 495.

Note 3:       If a person takes an action on land that contravenes this section, a landholder may commit 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 commits 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 commits 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 commit an offence against section 495.

Note 3:       If a person takes an action on land that contravenes this section, a landholder may commit 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 commits 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 commits 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 commit an offence against section 495.

Note 3:       If a person takes an action on land that contravenes this section, a landholder may commit 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 commits 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 commits 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 commit an offence against section 495.

Note 3:       If a person takes an action on land that contravenes this section, a landholder may commit 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, commits 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, commits 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 commits 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 commits 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 commits 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 commits 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 commit an offence against section 495.

Note 3:       If a person takes an action on land that contravenes this section, a landholder may commit 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 commits 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 commits 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 commits 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 commits 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 commits 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 commits 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 commit an offence against section 495.

Note 3:       If a person takes an action on land that contravenes this section, a landholder may commit 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