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A Bill for an Act to amend the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and for related purposes
Administered by: Agriculture, Water and the Environment
For authoritative information on the progress of bills and on amendments proposed to them, please see the House of Representatives Votes and Proceedings, and the Journals of the Senate as available on the Parliament House website.
Registered 25 Feb 2021
Introduced HR 25 Feb 2021
Table of contents.

2019‑2020‑2021

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Standards and Assurance) Bill 2021

 

No.      , 2021

 

(Environment)

 

 

 

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

  

  


Contents

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

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

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

Schedule 1—National environmental standards                                                 3

Part 1—Main amendments                                                                                         3

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999                   3

Part 2—Contingent amendments                                                                          11

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999                 11

Schedule 2—Environment Assurance Commissioner                                   12

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999                 12

 

 


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

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1  Short title

                   This Act is the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Standards and Assurance) Act 2021.

2  Commencement

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

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  Sections 1 to 3 and anything in this Act not elsewhere covered by this table

The day this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

2.  Schedule 1, Part 1

The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

3.  Schedule 1, Part 2

The later of:

(a) immediately after the commencement of the provisions covered by table item 2; and

(b) immediately after the commencement of item 2 of Schedule 5 to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Streamlining Environmental Approvals) Act 2021.

However, the provision does not commence at all if the event mentioned in paragraph (b) does not occur.

 

4.  Schedule 2

The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

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

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

3  Schedules

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

Schedule 1National environmental standards

Part 1Main amendments

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

1  After paragraph 46(3)(a)

Insert:

                    (aa)  if there are one or more national environmental standards—the management arrangement or authorisation process is not inconsistent with those standards; and

2  Subsection 47(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

Prerequisite to declaration

             (2)  The Minister may enter into a bilateral agreement declaring that actions assessed in a specified manner need not be assessed under Part 8 only if the Minister is satisfied that:

                     (a)  assessment of an action in the specified manner will include assessment of the impacts the action has or will have, or is likely to have, on each matter protected by a provision of Part 3; and

                     (b)  if there are one or more national environmental standards—assessment of an action in the specified manner will not be inconsistent with those standards.

3  After subsection 48A(3)

Insert:

National environmental standards

          (3A)  A bilateral agreement with a State or self‑governing Territory including a declaration that is described in section 46 does not have effect for the purposes of this Act unless the agreement includes a provision that, if there are one or more national environmental standards, the following decisions will not be inconsistent with those standards:

                     (a)  decisions approving the taking of actions in accordance with the bilaterally accredited management arrangement concerned;

                     (b)  decisions approving the taking of actions in accordance with the bilaterally accredited authorisation process concerned.

4  At the end of subsection 58(1)

Add:

               ; or (c)  if the agreement includes a declaration described in section 46—has given effect, or will give effect, to the agreement in a way that is inconsistent with a national environmental standard.

5  After subsection 59(1)

Insert:

          (1A)  If:

                     (a)  the consultation occurs because paragraph 58(1)(c) applies; and

                     (b)  after the consultation, the Environment Minister is satisfied that the State or Territory has given effect, or will give effect, to the agreement in a way that is inconsistent with a national environmental standard;

the Environment Minister may give the appropriate Minister of the State or Territory a written notice described in subsection (2) or (3).

6  After Chapter 3

Insert:

Chapter 3ANational environmental standards

Part 5ANational environmental standards

Division 1Introduction

65B  Simplified outline of this Part

The Minister may make national environmental standards. There are to be regular reviews of the standards.

Certain decisions or things under this Act must not be inconsistent with a standard. There are exceptions for decisions made or things done in the public interest.

Division 2National environmental standards

65C  Making national environmental standards

             (1)  The Minister may, by legislative instrument, make standards for the purposes of this Act.

Note:          Certain decisions or things under this Act must not be inconsistent with the standards: see Division 3.

Commencement of standards

             (2)  A standard commences on the day specified in the standard, which must be at least 1 month, but not more than 6 months, after the day on which the standard is made.

No disallowance of first standards

             (3)  Section 42 (disallowance) of the Legislation Act 2003 does not apply to each of the first standards made under this section in relation to a particular matter.

Incorporation of other instruments

             (4)  Despite subsection 14(2) of the Legislation Act 2003, a standard under this section may make provision in relation to a matter by applying, adopting or incorporating, with or without modification, any matter contained in an instrument or other writing:

                     (a)  as in force or existing at a particular time; or

                     (b)  as in force or existing from time to time;

even if the instrument or other writing does not yet exist when the standard is made.

65D  Varying and revoking national environmental standards

             (1)  The Minister may, by legislative instrument, vary or revoke a national environmental standard.

             (2)  A variation commences on the day specified in the variation, which must be not more than 6 months after the day on which the variation is made.

Incorporation of other instruments

             (3)  Despite subsection 14(2) of the Legislation Act 2003, a variation under this section may make provision in relation to a matter by applying, adopting or incorporating, with or without modification, any matter contained in an instrument or other writing:

                     (a)  as in force or existing at a particular time; or

                     (b)  as in force or existing from time to time;

even if the instrument or other writing does not yet exist when the variation is made.

65E  Standards etc. may deal with transitional arrangements

             (1)  A national environmental standard made under section 65C, or a variation under section 65D of such a standard, may specify the circumstances in which the standard or variation does not apply in relation to a decision or thing covered by subsection 65H(1).

             (2)  Without limiting subsection (1), the circumstances may relate to one or more processes begun before the commencement of the standard or variation.

65F  Notifying States and Territories of national environmental standards

             (1)  If the Minister (the Environment Minister) makes, varies or revokes a national environmental standard, the Environment Minister must notify, in writing, the appropriate Minister of a State or Territory that is party to a bilateral agreement of the making, variation or revocation.

             (2)  For the making or variation of a national environmental standard, the notification must request that the appropriate Minister of the State or Territory advise, in writing, the Environment Minister of whether:

                     (a)  any bilaterally accredited management arrangement, or any bilaterally accredited authorisation process, for the purposes of the agreement is inconsistent with the standard or the standard as varied; and

                     (b)  any assessment of an action, covered by a declaration referred to in subsection 47(1), in the manner specified in the agreement will be inconsistent with the standard or the standard as varied.

             (3)  Subsection (2) does not apply in relation to a variation of a national environmental standard if the Environment Minister is satisfied that the variation is minor.

65G  Reviews of national environmental standards

             (1)  The Minister must cause reviews to be undertaken of each national environmental standard.

Timing of reviews

             (2)  The first review must be undertaken within 2 years of the standard commencing.

             (3)  Later reviews must be undertaken at intervals of not more than 5 years.

Report

             (4)  The persons undertaking the review must give the Minister a written report of the review.

Publication

             (5)  The Minister must cause the report to be published on the Department’s website as soon as practicable after the report is given to the Minister.

Division 3Requirements for decisions or things under this Act

65H  Requirements for decisions or things under this Act

             (1)  Subject to this Part, a person making a decision, or doing a thing, under this Act, being a decision or thing that is determined in an instrument under subsection (4), must be satisfied that the decision or thing is not inconsistent with a national environmental standard.

             (2)  In considering whether the decision or thing is not inconsistent with a national environmental standard, the person may take into account the following matters:

                     (a)  policies, plans or programs of the Commonwealth, a State or self‑governing Territory;

                     (b)  funding by the Commonwealth, a State or self‑governing Territory of activities related to the environment;

                     (c)  funding by the Commonwealth, a State or self‑governing Territory of activities related to the promotion, protection or conservation of heritage.

             (3)  Subsection (2) does not limit the matters the person may take into account.

             (4)  The Minister may, by legislative instrument, determine a decision or thing for the purposes of subsection (1).

Transitional arrangements

             (5)  An instrument under subsection (4) may specify the circumstances in which subsection (1) does not apply in relation to the making of the decision or the doing of the thing.

             (6)  Without limiting subsection (5), the circumstances may relate to one or more processes begun before the commencement of the instrument.

Exception—public interest

             (7)  Subsection (1) does not apply to the making of a decision, or the doing of a thing, by the Minister if:

                     (a)  the decision or thing is determined in an instrument under subsection (8); and

                     (b)  the Minister is satisfied that the decision or thing is in the public interest.

             (8)  The Minister may, by legislative instrument, determine a decision or thing for the purposes of paragraph (7)(a).

             (9)  If subsection (1) does not apply to the making of a decision, or the doing of a thing, because of subsection (7), the Minister must, as soon as practicable after making the decision or doing the thing, cause a statement to be published on the Department’s website setting out the reasons why the Minister is satisfied that the decision or thing is in the public interest.

7  Section 528

Insert:

national environmental standard means a standard in force under Part 5A.

8  Application provisions

(1)       Paragraph 46(3)(aa) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, as inserted by this Part, applies in relation to the accreditation of a management arrangement or an authorisation process on or after the commencement of this item, whether the bilateral agreement was entered into before, on or after that commencement.

(2)       The repeal and substitution of subsection 47(2) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 made by this Part applies in relation to a bilateral agreement entered into on or after the commencement of this item.

(3)       Subsection 48A(3A) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, as inserted by this Part, applies in relation to a bilateral agreement entered into on or after the commencement of this item.

(4)       The amendment of subsection 58(1) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 made by this Part applies in relation to a bilateral agreement entered into before, on or after the commencement of this item.

(5)       Subsection 59(1A) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, as inserted by this Part, applies in relation to a bilateral agreement entered into before, on or after the commencement of this item.

(6)       Subsection 65H(1) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, as inserted by this Part, applies in relation to a decision made, or thing done, on or after the commencement of this item.

(7)       Subitem (6) has effect subject to section 65E and subsection 65H(5) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, as inserted by this Part.

Part 2Contingent amendments

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

9  Paragraph 46(3)(aa)

After “standards—”, insert “the Minister is satisfied that”.

Schedule 2Environment Assurance Commissioner

  

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

1  After Part 18

Insert:

Part 18AEnvironment Assurance Commissioner

Division 1Simplified outline of this Part

501A  Simplified outline of this Part

There is to be an Environment Assurance Commissioner.

The Commissioner has the main functions of:

       (a)     monitoring or auditing (or both) the operation of bilateral agreements; and

      (b)     monitoring or auditing (or both) various processes under Chapter 4 of this Act (about environmental assessments and approvals); and

       (c)     monitoring or auditing (or both) the actions taken to monitor compliance with Parts 3, 7 and 9.

The Commissioner must finalise work plans for each financial year setting out the priorities for the Commissioner for that year.

Division 2Establishment and functions of Environment Assurance Commissioner

501B  Environment Assurance Commissioner

                   There is to be an Environment Assurance Commissioner.

501C  Environment Assurance Commissioner’s functions

             (1)  The Environment Assurance Commissioner has the following functions:

                     (a)  to monitor or audit (or both) the operation of bilateral agreements;

                     (b)  to monitor or audit (or both) the processes under this Act in relation to one or more of the following:

                              (i)  the making of decisions under Part 7 about whether actions are controlled actions;

                             (ii)  the assessment under Part 8 of the relevant impacts of controlled actions;

                            (iii)  the approval under Part 9 of the taking of controlled actions;

                            (iv)  the assessment under Division 1 of Part 10 of the impacts of actions and the approval under that Division of the taking of actions;

                             (v)  the giving of advice under Subdivision A of Division 4 of Part 11 in relation to proposals to give authorisations of actions;

                     (c)  to monitor or audit (or both) the actions taken to monitor compliance with Parts 3, 7 and 9;

                     (d)  to prepare reports on audits referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c);

                     (e)  any other functions conferred by this Part;

                      (f)  any other functions prescribed by the regulations;

                     (g)  to do anything incidental to, or conducive to, the performance of the above functions.

Publication of audit report

             (2)  The Environment Assurance Commissioner must publish each audit report on the internet within 30 business days of the Commissioner completing the report.

Limitation

             (3)  This section does not permit the Environment Assurance Commissioner to monitor or audit a single decision.

Note:          Monitoring or auditing under this section must be more general.

Request for assistance

             (4)  The Environment Assurance Commissioner may, in performing the Commissioner’s functions, request a person to provide information or documents, or answer questions, if the Commissioner reasonably believes that the person has information or documents relevant to the performance of those functions.

Division 3Appointment of Environment Assurance Commissioner and terms and conditions

501D  Appointment

             (1)  The Environment Assurance Commissioner is to be appointed by the Governor‑General by written instrument, on a full‑time basis or a part‑time basis.

Note:          The Environment Assurance Commissioner may be reappointed: see section 33AA of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

             (2)  The Environment Assurance Commissioner holds office for the period specified in the instrument of appointment. The period must not exceed 5 years.

             (3)  A person is not eligible for appointment as the Environment Assurance Commissioner unless the Minister is satisfied that:

                     (a)  the person has a high level of expertise in one or more fields relevant to the Commissioner’s functions; and

                     (b)  the person does not have any interests, pecuniary or otherwise, that conflict or could conflict with the proper performance of the Commissioner’s functions.

             (4)  A person cannot be appointed as the Environment Assurance Commissioner for more than 2 terms.

501E  Acting appointments

                   The Minister may, by written instrument, appoint a person to act as the Environment Assurance Commissioner:

                     (a)  during a vacancy in the office of the Commissioner (whether or not an appointment has previously been made to the office); or

                     (b)  during any period, or during all periods, when the Commissioner:

                              (i)  is absent from duty or from Australia; or

                             (ii)  is, for any reason, unable to perform the duties of the office.

Note:          For rules that apply to acting appointments, see sections 33AB and 33A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

501F  Remuneration

             (1)  The Environment Assurance Commissioner is to be paid the remuneration that is determined by the Remuneration Tribunal. If no determination of that remuneration by the Tribunal is in operation, the Commissioner is to be paid the remuneration that is prescribed by the instrument under subsection (4).

             (2)  The Environment Assurance Commissioner is to be paid the allowances that are prescribed by the instrument under subsection (4).

             (3)  This section has effect subject to the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973.

             (4)  The Minister may, by legislative instrument, prescribe:

                     (a)  remuneration for the purposes of subsection (1); and

                     (b)  allowances for the purposes of subsection (2).

501G  Leave of absence

Full‑time appointment

             (1)  If the Environment Assurance Commissioner is appointed on a full‑time basis:

                     (a)  the Commissioner has the recreation leave entitlements that are determined by the Remuneration Tribunal; and

                     (b)  the Minister may grant the Commissioner leave of absence, other than recreation leave, on the terms and conditions as to remuneration or otherwise that the Minister determines.

Part‑time appointment

             (2)  If the Environment Assurance Commissioner is appointed on a part‑time basis, the Minister may grant the Commissioner leave of absence on the terms and conditions that the Minister determines.

501H  Other paid work

Full‑time appointment

             (1)  If the Environment Assurance Commissioner is appointed on a full‑time basis, the Commissioner must not engage in paid work outside the duties of the Commissioner’s office without the Minister’s approval.

Part‑time appointment

             (2)  If the Environment Assurance Commissioner is appointed on a part‑time basis, the Commissioner must not engage in any paid work that, in the Minister’s opinion, conflicts or could conflict with the proper performance of the Commissioner’s functions.

501J  Disclosure of interests

                   The Environment Assurance Commissioner must give written notice to the Minister of all interests, pecuniary or otherwise, that the Commissioner has or acquires and that conflict or could conflict with the proper performance of the Commissioner’s functions.

501K  Resignation

             (1)  The Environment Assurance Commissioner may resign the Commissioner’s appointment by giving the Governor‑General a written resignation.

             (2)  The resignation takes effect on the day it is received by the Governor‑General or, if a later day is specified in the resignation, on that later day.

501L  Termination of appointment

             (1)  The Governor‑General may terminate the appointment of the Environment Assurance Commissioner:

                     (a)  for misbehaviour; or

                     (b)  if the Commissioner is unable to perform the duties of the Commissioner’s office because of physical or mental incapacity.

             (2)  The Governor‑General may terminate the appointment of the Environment Assurance Commissioner if:

                     (a)  the Commissioner:

                              (i)  becomes bankrupt; or

                             (ii)  applies to take the benefit of any law for the relief of bankrupt or insolvent debtors; or

                            (iii)  compounds with the Commissioner’s creditors; or

                            (iv)  makes an assignment of the Commissioner’s remuneration for the benefit of the Commissioner’s creditors; or

                     (b)  if the Commissioner is appointed on a full‑time basis:

                              (i)  the Commissioner is absent, except on leave of absence, for 14 consecutive days or for 28 days in any 12 months; or

                             (ii)  the Commissioner engages, except with the Minister’s approval, in paid work outside the duties of the Commissioner’s office (see subsection 501H(1)); or

                     (c)  if the Commissioner is appointed on a part‑time basis—the Commissioner engages in paid work that, in the Minister’s opinion, conflicts or could conflict with the proper performance of the Commissioner’s functions (see subsection 501H(2)); or

                     (d)  the Commissioner fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with section 501J.

501M  Other terms and conditions

                   The Environment Assurance Commissioner holds office on the terms and conditions (if any) in relation to matters not covered by this Part that are determined by the Minister.

501N  Application of the finance law

             (1)  For the purposes of the finance law (within the meaning of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013), the Environment Assurance Commissioner is an official (within the meaning of that Act) of the Department.

Note:          The Commissioner’s responsibilities as an official under the finance law include duties in relation to exercising due care and diligence, acting in good faith and for a proper purpose and not improperly using information or position (see Division 3 of Part 2‑2 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013).

             (2)  However, section 29 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (which deals with the duty to disclose interests) does not apply to the Environment Assurance Commissioner.

Note:          Section 29 of that Act does not apply to the Commissioner because the duty is instead imposed on the Commissioner under section 501J of this Act.

Division 4Annual work plans

501P  Annual work plans

Minister’s statement of expectations

             (1)  The Minister must, as soon as practicable before the start of each financial year, give the Environment Assurance Commissioner a written statement of expectations for that year.

Commissioner to prepare work plan

             (2)  The Environment Assurance Commissioner must prepare and give to the Minister a written work plan for that year. The plan must set out the priorities for the Commissioner for that year.

             (3)  The Environment Assurance Commissioner must have regard to the Minister’s statement in preparing that plan. This subsection does not limit the matters to which the Commissioner may have regard.

Minister’s response

             (4)  The Minister must:

                     (a)  inform the Environment Assurance Commissioner, in writing, that the Minister agrees with the plan; or

                     (b)  request the Environment Assurance Commissioner, in writing, to make changes to the plan and include with the request the reasons for the request.

Commissioner to finalise plan

             (5)  The Environment Assurance Commissioner must finalise the plan after receiving the Minister’s response under subsection (4) and after having regard to any changes the Minister requests.

Commissioner to give Minister copy of plan

             (6)  The Environment Assurance Commissioner must give the Minister a copy of the finalised work plan as soon as practicable after the Commissioner finalises the plan.

Publication

             (7)  The Environment Assurance Commissioner must publish the following on the internet:

                     (a)  the finalised work plan;

                     (b)  the statement of expectations;

                     (c)  any request under paragraph (4)(b) and the reasons for the request.

The Commissioner must do this as soon as practicable after the Commissioner finalises the plan.

Plan and statement of expectations are not legislative instruments

             (8)  The following are not legislative instruments:

                     (a)  the finalised work plan;

                     (b)  the statement of expectations.

501Q  Variation of work plans

             (1)  The Environment Assurance Commissioner may, in writing, vary a work plan.

             (2)  The Environment Assurance Commissioner must give the Minister a copy of the varied work plan.

Publication

             (3)  The Environment Assurance Commissioner must publish the varied work plan on the internet as soon as practicable after the variation.

Variation is not a legislative instrument

             (4)  A variation under subsection (1) is not a legislative instrument.

Division 5Other matters

501R  Commissioner not subject to directions by Minister

                   The Environment Assurance Commissioner is not subject to the directions of the Minister in relation to the Commissioner performing the Commissioner’s functions.

501S  Minister may request the Commissioner to perform functions

Minister’s request

             (1)  The Minister may, in writing, request the Environment Assurance Commissioner to perform the Commissioner’s functions covered by one or more of paragraphs 501C(1)(a), (b), (c) and (d) in relation to a matter specified in the request.

             (2)  The Minister must include with the request the reasons for the request.

Environment Assurance Commissioner’s decision

             (3)  The Environment Assurance Commissioner must agree, or refuse to agree, to the request.

             (4)  The Environment Assurance Commissioner must inform the Minister, in writing, of the Commissioner’s decision on the request and the reasons for the decision.

Publication

             (5)  The Environment Assurance Commissioner must publish the following on the internet:

                     (a)  the Minister’s request and the reasons for the request;

                     (b)  the Commissioner’s decision on the request and the reasons for the decision.

The Commissioner must do this within 30 business days of the Commissioner’s decision on the request.

501T  Assistance from APS employees

                   The Secretary may make the services of APS employees in the Department available for the purposes of assisting the Environment Assurance Commissioner perform the Commissioner’s functions.

501U  Disclosure of information or provision of documents

             (1)  The Environment Assurance Commissioner may disclose information, or provide a document, the Commissioner obtains in the course of performing the Commissioner’s functions to:

                     (a)  the Minister; or

                     (b)  the Secretary; or

                     (c)  an APS employee in the Department; or

                     (d)  a member of a committee established under Part 19 if the Commissioner is satisfied that the information or document will assist the committee to perform its functions; or

                     (e)  a member of the Australian Heritage Council if the Commissioner is satisfied that the information or document will assist the Council to perform its functions; or

                      (f)  any other person or body prescribed by the regulations for the purpose prescribed by the regulations.

             (2)  The information disclosed may be personal information (within the meaning of the Privacy Act 1988) or the document provided may contain personal information (within the meaning of that Act).

501V  Annual report

             (1)  The Environment Assurance Commissioner must for each financial year:

                     (a)  prepare and give to the Minister, for presentation to the Parliament, a report about the Commissioner’s activities during that year; or

                     (b)  prepare and give to the Minister a report about the Commissioner’s activities during that year, for inclusion in a report (the overall report) prepared in relation to the Department and given to the Minister under section 46 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

Note:          See also section 34C of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, which contains extra rules about annual reports.

             (2)  The Environment Assurance Commissioner must publish on the internet the report the Commissioner gives to the Minister. The Commissioner must do this as soon as practicable after:

                     (a)  if paragraph (1)(a) applies—the report referred to in that paragraph is laid before each House of the Parliament; or

                     (b)  if paragraph (1)(b) applies—the overall report referred to in that paragraph is laid before each House of the Parliament.

501W  Delegation

             (1)  The Environment Assurance Commissioner may, in writing, delegate all or any of the Commissioner’s functions or powers under this Part to:

                     (a)  the Secretary; or

                     (b)  an SES employee, or acting SES employee, in the Department whose services have been made available under section 501T.

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not apply to the Commissioner’s functions under subsection 501P(5) or 501S(3) or (4) or section 501V.

             (3)  A person performing functions or exercising powers under a delegation under subsection (1) must comply with any directions of the Commissioner.

2  Section 528

Insert:

paid work means work for financial gain or reward (whether as an employee, a self‑employed person or otherwise).

3  Application and transitional provisions—work plans

(1)       Section 501P of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, as inserted by this Schedule, applies in relation to each financial year starting after the first day of the first term of office of the first Environment Assurance Commissioner.

(2)       If the first day of the first term of office of the first Environment Assurance Commissioner occurs in the first 6 months of a financial year:

                     (a)  that section, except subsection 501P(1), also applies in relation to the remainder of that financial year; and

                     (b)  the Minister must, as soon as practicable after that day, give the Environment Assurance Commissioner a written statement of expectations for the remainder of that financial year.

4  Application provision—annual report

Section 501V of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, as inserted by this Schedule, applies in relation to each financial year for which there is a work plan under section 501P of that Act.