Indigenous Australians Caring for Country

Indigenous Advisory Committee


The Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) is a statutory committee established in 2000 under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) [section 505A]. The EPBC Act is the Australian Government's central piece of environmental legislation that provides a framework for protection of the Australian environment, including its biodiversity and its natural and culturally significant places. It provides a legal framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places defined under the EPBC Act as Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES):

  1. world heritage properties;
  2. national heritage places;
  3. wetlands of international importance (often called 'Ramsar' wetlands after the international treaty under which such wetlands are listed);
  4. nationally threatened species and ecological communities;
  5. migratory species;
  6. Commonwealth marine areas;
  7. the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park;
  8. nuclear actions (including uranium mining); and
  9. a water resource, in relation to coal seam gas development and large coal mining development.

The function of the IAC [section 505B] is to advise the Minister for the Environment (the Minister) on the operation of the EPBC Act, taking into account the significance of Indigenous peoples' knowledge of the management of land and the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

The role of the IAC is to provide advice, as requested by the Minister, to the Minister or Department of the Environment (the Department) on environment and heritage programmes, policy and consultation strategies to ensure better access and engagement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The IAC provides advice as requested by the Minister, excluding where an existing statutory committee exists to provide such advice. In particular the IAC:


All IAC members are Indigenous Australians and are not appointed to represent particular regions or organisations. The Minister appoints members based on expertise in Indigenous land and sea management, conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and cultural heritage management.

The IAC is an advisory, not decision making body and it is not a consultative mechanism to seek the views of stakeholders. It does not advocate on behalf of Indigenous communities, stakeholders or funded proponents. It provides strategic advice at the request of the Minister.


The IAC meets twice a year in Canberra, and provides advice through out of session work and regular teleconferences.

Indigenous Advisory Committee Bulletins

IAC Meeting 28 - 2-3 April 2014, Canberra, ACT

IAC Meeting 27 - 26?27 November 2013, Canberra, ACT

IAC Meeting 26 - 24?25 May 2013, Darwin, Northern Territory

IAC Meeting 25 - 23-25 October 2012, Cairns, Queensland


Secretariat services are provided by the Department of the Environment and IAC members should be contacted through the Secretariat.

Contacting the IAC

Phone: (02) 6275 9099
Post: IAC Secretariat
Landcare and Biodiversity Policy Branch
Biodiversity Conservation Division
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787