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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

1 April 2005

Call for comment on new matters of national environmental significance


The Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today invited public comment on the possible addition of new matters of national environmental significance to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

"The EPBC Act provides a national framework for environment protection involving a rigorous assessment and approval process for any actions that are likely to have an impact on matters of national environmental significance," Senator Campbell said.

Seven matters of national environmental significance - World Heritage properties, National Heritage places, Ramsar wetlands of international importance, nationally threatened species and ecological communities, migratory species, nuclear actions (including uranium mining) and the Commonwealth marine environment - are currently provided protection under the EPBC Act.

"To ensure the EPBC Act continues to offer maximum protection for our environment, the legislation requires a review every five years, to assess the need for new matters of national environmental significance," he said.

"I encourage the community to provide input to this review process, which will include seeking public comment on the matters to be covered by the review, preparation of a draft report and public comment on the final report before its publication."

The call for comment will be advertised in the 2-3 April edition of The Australian newspaper.

Comments on the matters to be covered by the report must be received by close of business Monday, 2 May 2005, and should be sent to:

The Secretary
Department of the Environment and Heritage
GPO Box 787
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Attention: Director, Legislation Policy Section

Email: nesreview@deh.gov.au or Fax 02 6274 1878

Further information on the EPBC Act is available on the www.deh.gov.au/epbc/invitecomment/nes-review.html

Media Contact:
Senator Campbell's office: Renae Stoikos (02) 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

Commonwealth of Australia