Steps in adopting a recovery plan

About the recovery plan process

Under the Environment Protection and Biodiveristy Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), the Australian Government Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities may make or adopt plans prepared by others, including state/territory agencies. The Threatened Species Scientific Committee, an advisory committee established under the EPBC Act, provides advice to the Minister on the basis of the legislative requirements, which include consideration of the content and scientific merit of the plan.

The steps

Preparation of draft recovery plan will involve approval, liaison and/or input from:

  • the state government agency with responsibility for threatened species and communities
  • recovery team (where applicable)
  • individuals, groups, and organisations that may be affected by (or have responsibility for) the recovery actions proposed in the plan
  • relevant local councils, regional bodies and State government agencies
  • other individuals or groups with a particular interest or expertise in the species or community covered (for example, research bodies, industry associations)
  • if appropriate, indigenous peoples or councils

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Undertake public consultation process by either:

  1. Submitting draft Plan and Legislative Requirements Checklist (hardcopy and electronic version) to the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities who will arrange for a formal public consultation process on the draft plan. Availability of the plan for comment will be advertised in the Australian Public Service Gazette, on the Internet and in a daily national newspaper; or
  2. State/territory agency to run public consultation process that enables all interested and relevant persons/organisations the opportunity to comment on the plan. The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities to be provided with a copy of the draft Plan and Legislative Requirements Checklist.

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Incorporate relevant comments into final Plan and submit plan to the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (where appropriate, through the relevant state/territory agency) for adoption with the following information:

  • finalised Legislative Requirements Checklist.
  • Details of public consultation process undertaken (where not conducted by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities)
  • Analysis of public comments received and advice on how they were treated in finalising the plan.
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Consult the appropriate Minister of each state and self-governing territory in which the species or community occur, with a view to:

  • Taking the views of each of those states and territories into account in making the plan under subsection (2); or
  • Making the plan jointly under subsection (3);

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The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities refers the final plan (and comments) to the Threatened Species Scientific Committee, which advises the Minister on whether to adopt the plan under the EPBC Act.

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The Minister makes a decision on whether to adopt the plan under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

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If adopted, the Minister gives public notice that the plan has been adopted and makes copies of the plan available for purchase (for a reasonable price). If not adopted, the author of the plan will be advised accordingly so that further changes to the plan can be made prior to re-submission.

Public consultation

All recovery plans need to undergo a public consultation process before being adopted by the Minister.

This consultation process may be conducted either by the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities or by the relevant state/territory government involved in the development of the plan.

Consultation run by the Commonwealth

Where the public consultation process is to be run by the Australian Government, availability of the plan for comment will be advertised in the Australian Public Service Gazette, on the Internet and in a daily national newspaper. The public will have 3 months in which to submit comments.

The Minister when deciding whether to adopt the plan will then consider the comments received.

Consultation run by state/territory agency

A state/territory agency may conduct the public consultation process if that is provided for under their own legislation or policy. In such cases the state/territory agency will need to provide (at the time of submitting the plan for adoption) details of the consultation process undertaken and what the outcomes of the consultation process were. As a general rule the consultation process will need to allow for broad public input in the same manner as the process run by the Australian Government.

State and territory consultation

Where the Australian Government is proposing to make a plan, it will be done in consultation with the relevant state/territory agency/ies, as the EPBC Act requires that the Minister consult with relevant Ministers in each state and territory in which the species/community occurs.

Duration

Recovery plans are normally adopted to cover a five-year period, but the period can be shorter or longer depending on the ecological requirements of the species or ecological community. At the end of this period, the plan is reviewed. When a revision of a plan is undertaken, the complete process of ministerial endorsement will be followed.

More information

For a comprehensive understanding of the provisions relating to nomination and listing, you should refer directly to the:

For general information about threatened species and threatened ecological communities contact the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Community Information Unit

  • email: ciu@environment.gov.au
  • freecall: 1800 803 772