Environmental management plans show how you'll avoid and minimise the impacts of a project you've referred under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
Purpose of a management plan
An environmental management plan is a document you provide to us to help with the impact assessment of your project. Or your conditions of approval may ask you to provide one or more plans during the post-approval phase.
The plan says:
- the actions you'll take that may impact protected matters
- what you'll do to avoid and minimise those impacts.
It helps the Environment minister assess the environmental impact of your project.
If the minister approves your project, your approval conditions may also require you to:
- implement the action management plan
- create one or more extra plans before you can start your project.
When to create a management plan
We'll let you know when to create a management plan, and will guide you on what's required.
Reviewing and approving plans takes time. We'll likely ask you to make changes to your plan to make it more effective. For this reason, submit your management plan at least 3 months before you need project or plan approval.
If in the post-approval phase, submit your plan before your approved project is planned to start. This must be as per the conditions of your approval or:
- as soon as possible after project approval
- no less than 3 months before your project will start.
Fees for management plans
The fees you pay during the project approval process cover our assessment of any management plans.
There are extra fees for assessing management plans if you submit them:
- to meet your project's conditions of approval
- as revised plans after a project approval.
What to put in a management plan
Title your management plan with:
- what best describes the purpose of the plan
- the project name
- EPBC approval number.
If your plan is a condition of approval, you will be told the title of the plan.
Each page of your plan should include:
- the name of the project
- the date of the plan
- the page number.
If your management plan is to meet a condition of approval, your plan must include and address what's set out in the condition.
In addition, a management plan must include:
- a cover page and declaration that the contents are accurate
- document version control
- table of contents
- executive summary or introduction
- conditions of approval reference table.
It must describe:
- your management objectives for the protected matters
- an assessment of the risks of failure to achieve those objectives
- environmental management measures to achieve those objectives
- how you'll monitor, analyse and report on avoiding and minimising potential impacts
- corrective actions if monitoring indicates you're not achieving your objectives
- environmental management roles and responsibilities
- compliance reporting
- emergency contacts and procedures
- audit and review information
- a glossary of terms.
Management plan principles
Your plan must include management, monitoring and reporting commitments. Each commitment must:
- be specific
- be auditable and measurable
- have a time frame specified.
Present the information in a table format to ensure it is complete, clear and easy to reference.
In your plan:
- state any limits to using the data or information in your plan
- identify where you don't have enough information or aren't sure about something, and say how you'll manage the resulting uncertainty
- show how you reached your conclusions on risks, including residual risk
- take full responsibility for the content and commitments in the plan
- explain technical terms and acronyms or define them in your glossary.
- long sentences and complex clauses
- non-committal terms like 'should' and 'may'
- unclear terms like 'where possible', 'as required' and 'to the greatest extent possible'.
If you do use any unclear or non-committal terms, explain what you mean by each term and how you've applied it.
Include clear cross references to other documents you refer to.
State the document version and date.
Maps and data
Use tables, diagrams and maps if they help with understanding and implementing the plan. Link these in the text.
The Guide to providing maps and boundary data for EPBC Act projects has more information on presenting maps and data.
Sending your management plan
If your management plan is to inform assessment of your project, send it to the relevant assessment section or contact officer.
If your plan is a condition of approval, send Word and PDF versions to PostApproval@dcceew.gov.au.
If you had to change an existing approved management plan, add a document that says what you changed. This could be:
- a version of the plan with tracked changes
- a summary of the changes that you made to each section of the plan.
New or increased impact
You may have an approval condition that refers to 'new or increased impact'.
This means if changes to your plan are unlikely to have new or increased impact on protected matters, you can implement it without the minister's approval. But you must first submit the revised plan to us, in line with your condition of approval.
The Guidance on ‘new or increased impact’ relating to changes to approved management plans under EPBC Act environmental approvals helps you work out if a change is likely to have a new or increased impact.
Get in touch
Contact our Referrals Gateway team:
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 1800 423 135 between 9 am and 5 pm Canberra time.