What is protected under the EPBC Act?
Matters of national environmental significance
Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), actions that have, or are likely to have, a significant impact on a matter of national environmental significance require approval from the Australian Government Minister for the Environment (the Minister). The Minister will decide whether assessment and approval is required under the EPBC Act.
The nine matters of national environmental significance protected under the EPBC Act are:
- world heritage properties
- national heritage places
- wetlands of international importance (listed under the Ramsar Convention)
- listed threatened species and ecological communities
- migratory species protected under international agreements
- Commonwealth marine areas
- the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
- nuclear actions (including uranium mines)
- a water resource, in relation to coal seam gas development and large coal mining development
Other matters protected
- The environment, where actions proposed are on, or will affect Commonwealth land and the environment.
- The environment, where Commonwealth agencies are proposing to take an action.
- Biodiversity conservation
- Environment assessment and approval process
- Significant impact guidelines 1.1: matters of national environmental significance
- Significant impact guidelines 1.2: actions on, or impacting upon, Commonwealth land and actions by Commonwealth agencies
- Significant impact guidelines 1.3: coal seam gas and large coal mining developments - Impacts on water resources