The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) establishes a strong framework for protection of the environment and the conservation of biodiversity. It includes a broad range of enforcement mechanisms for managing suspected or identified instances of non-compliance and for reviewing the compliance of referred projects. The Australian Government's approach to maximising compliance with the EPBC Act is outlined in the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities’ EPBC Act Compliance and Enforcement Policy. This approach includes proactive compliance measures, as well as a range of enforcement mechanisms to address non-compliance.
These mechanisms include:
- civil or criminal penalties that can apply to individuals and corporations that contravene the requirements for environmental approvals under the Act, including the provision of false or misleading information to obtain approval
- remediation orders and determinations to repair or mitigate environmental damage resulting from a contravention of the EPBC Act
- enforceable undertakings to negotiate civil penalties and provide for future compliance
If you are concerned about an action and believe that it may have a significant impact on a matter protected by the EPBC Act, you should contact the Department. Report a breach of the EPBC Act