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The Review and how to have your say

The EPBC Act Review

The Independent Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the Review) commenced on 29 October 2019. The Minister for the Environment appointed Professor Graeme Samuel AC to conduct the Review.

The EPBC Act requires that an independent review be undertaken at least once every ten years. This review must examine the operation of the Act and the extent to which its objects have been achieved.

Information about the Review, including the Terms of Reference, is available on the Review website. This includes information about the extensive consultation that has occurred, and the thousands of submissions received on the Discussion Paper. This material has had a direct bearing on the findings of the Review.

The Final Report is due to be completed by the end of October 2020.

The Interim Report

This Interim Report sets out Professor Samuel’s views on the fundamental inadequacies of the EPBC Act and proposes key reform directions to address them. It is not an exposition of all problems, nor does it reference in full depth the comprehensive information—including relevant past reviews—on which the Review has relied.

The Interim Report is structured around the key problems identified by the Reviewer and the proposed reforms to address these. Multiple issues with the way the EPBC Act operates contribute to the ultimate problems observed. The structure of the Interim Report—with summary points, an executive summary and key points at the start of each chapter—is intentionally repetitive to enable the reader to understand the overall message of the Review in as little or as much detail as they choose.

How to have your say

The Review would like to hear the views of stakeholders on the Interim Report and the key reform directions proposed. What has been missed? How could the proposed reform directions be improved? Are there fundamental shortcomings that would require the Reviewer to rethink?

The Review will continue to engage with stakeholders. Given the short time available, this will be done in a targeted way with the goal of testing and refining key reform proposals.

All interested parties are invited to visit the Have Your Say website to provide feedback via a survey. The survey is set out to focus your comments on the key reform directions proposed in the Interim Report. This is so the Review can quickly gauge views and target analysis to areas of critical concern. You are encouraged to complete the survey as early as possible to ensure adequate time for its consideration. Please refrain from resending material you have already provided to the Review.

To share your views about the Interim Report, please visit our Have Your Say website and complete the survey.