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About the review

The statutory review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) commenced on 29 October 2019. Professor Graeme Samuel AC has been appointed as the independent reviewer. An Expert Panel will support and provide advice to him on specific issues.

Over the next 12 months, the review will look at how the EPBC Act has been operating, and any changes needed for Australia to support ecologically sustainable development into the future. All Australians are invited to participate in the review.

What is the EPBC Act?

The EPBC Act is Australia’s central piece of national environmental law. The EPBC Act and the Commonwealth’s role in environmental protection focuses on matters of national significance.

The review process

The EPBC Act requires a review every ten years to examine the operation of the EPBC Act, and the extent to which its objects have been met. It is expected the review will take around 12 months.

The Minister for the Environment, the Hon Sussan Ley MP, has appointed an independent reviewer to undertake the review. The Reviewer, Professor Graeme Samuel AC, is supported by an Expert Panel and will draw on other technical expertise as needed.

All Australians are invited to participate in the review. The review will involve extensive consultation with interested stakeholders including industry, Indigenous Australians and environmental groups.

The review is keen to hear your views and insights on the EPBC Act, how it has operated, the challenges ahead it should address, and your ideas for the future of our national environmental law.

There are two main ways that you can provide your views for consideration during the review:

  • a written submission at key points, or
  • general comments about the EPBC Act at any time.

Key milestones in the review process, including opportunities to get involved, are shown in the timeline to the right. Following the release of the final report, the government will consider the report and publicly respond.

The Reviewer and Expert Panel

The review is being undertaken by Professor Graeme Samuel AC, with specialist expertise in public policy in economic reform and regulation.

Professor Samuel will be supported by an Expert Panel who bring expertise and experience in industry, environmental law, agriculture and Indigenous culture and heritage. Professor Samuel will draw on other technical expertise as required.

Terms of reference

The Minister for the Environment, the Hon Sussan Ley MP, has set Terms of reference that define the scope and timing of the review.

The review will examine the operation of the Act and the extent to which its objects have been achieved. The Reviewer will provide a report to the Minister for the Environment within 12 months of the commencement of the review.

Additional information

Supplementary navigation and content

Indicative review timeline

Review announced
Discussion paper
Submissions due
Draft report
Final Report