This page provides key documents issued by the independent review, and additional information about the EPBC Act. As the review progresses, additional resources will be added to this page.
Further reading about the EPBC Act
Scope of the EPBC Act
The EPBC Act is the Australian Government’s central piece of environmental legislation. The Act reflects the role of the Commonwealth to address environmental matters of national significance, provide a nationally coordinated approach to managing our environment and meet our international commitments. It establishes a national approach to a wide range of environmental protection and biodiversity conservation matters, with responsibility for decision-making bestowed primarily on the Minister for the Environment.
Protected areas and heritage
Areas of ecological, cultural and/or heritage significance are identified, protected and managed under the EPBC Act. These include world and national heritage properties, Ramsar wetlands of international importance, biosphere reserves and Commonwealth land and marine reserves (National Parks).
The EPBC Act enables the Australian Government to list migratory species, threatened species and ecological communities to identify biodiversity specifically protected. The Act includes mechanisms to mitigate impacts on, protect and recover biodiversity, including recovery plans, conservation agreements and threat abatement plans.
Assessments and approvals
Environmental Impact Assessment is a regulatory mechanism provided in the EPBC Act that aims to ensure that significant impacts to matters of national environmental significance are either avoided, mitigated or offset. This mechanism generally applies at a local scale and includes the regulation of Commonwealth land and actions by Commonwealth agencies.
Compliance and enforcement
The EPBC Act (particularly Part 17) includes monitoring, audit, compliance and enforcement for approvals and permits. The Act also provides the regulatory framework for general and specific deterrence for those who choose to take actions without required permits or approvals.