Independent review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

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On 31 October 2008 the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts commissioned an independent review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), the Australian Government's central piece of environmental legislation. Section 522A of the EPBC Act requires it to be reviewed every 10 years from its commencement.

The review was undertaken by Dr Allan Hawke.

This is the first review of the EPBC Act since its commencement on 16 July 2000. In accordance with section 522A and its terms of reference, the review assessed the operation of the EPBC Act and the extent to which its objects have been achieved.

Community participation in the review was encouraged. There were opportunities for public input over the course of the review.

The first stage of this public input process was through written submissions. The period for making written submissions closed on 19 December 2008. The review received 220 written submissions.

The second stage of the public consultation process was a series of face-to-face consultations with stakeholders in each Australian capital city. Over 140 meetings were held.

The third stage of the public consultation process was through the release of an Interim Report on the review which highlighted the key issues raised throughout the first two stages of the public consultation process. Written comments were invited in response to the Interim Report of the Independent review of the EPBC Act. The period for making comments closed on 3 August 2009. A further 119 written comments were received.

The Final Report was delivered to the Minister on 30 October 2009 and publicly released on 21 December 2009.

On 24 August 2011, the Minister released the Australian Government response to the independent review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) as part of abroad package of reforms for Australia's national environment law.