The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) allows bilateral agreements between the Australian and Northern Territory (NT) governments. These agreements let us accredit NT environmental assessment and approval processes. Since 2014, if an assessment bilateral applies, the NT can assess proposed actions on our behalf.
Bilateral agreements allow each state or territory to assess proposed actions (projects or developments) on behalf of the Australian Government.
They remove the need for a separate assessment, reducing duplication. The Commonwealth Environment minister uses a state or territory's report to inform the final decision about whether to approve an action.
Assessment bilateral agreements have existed with all states and territories since 2015.
Assessment agreement with the Northern Territory
Under the assessment bilateral agreement, the Commonwealth minister can use the NT process to inform an assessment of the impacts of any eligible action.
The original assessment bilateral agreement has been in place since 11 December 2014.
NT Assessment Bilateral Agreement (PDF 1.2 MB)
NT Assessment Bilateral Agreement (DOCX 186 KB)
Find out more
Agreement notice (PDF 16 KB)
Agreement notice (DOCX 22 KB)
NT Assessment Bilateral Agreement Public Comment report (PDF 93 KB)
NT Assessment Bilateral Agreement Public Comment report (DOCX 30 KB)
The Commonwealth minister's Statement of Reasons (PDF 1.7 MB)
The Commonwealth minister's Statement of Reasons ((DOCX 62 KB)
Updating the Assessment Bilateral Agreement
On 19 September 2019, the NT Government passed new environmental legislation.
We published a Notice of intention to develop a draft assessment bilateral agreement with the NT in February 2020.
Notice of intention to develop a draft assessment bilateral agreement with the NT in February 2020 (PDF 444 KB)
Notice of intention to develop a draft assessment bilateral agreement with the NT in February 2020 (DOCX 24 KB)
A new assessment bilateral agreement was signed in 2021. This revoked and replaced the 2014 agreement.
2021 Bilateral Agreement (PDF 959 KB)
2021 Bilateral Agreement (DOCX 194 KB)
2021 Bilateral Agreement and Statement of Reasons (PDF 1.5 MB)
2021 Bilateral Agreement and Statement of Reasons (DOCX 90 KB)
Public consultation on the new draft assessment bilateral agreement ran from 7 December 2020 to 29 January 2021.
Report on the public comments (PDF 239 KB)
Report on the public comments (DOCX 45 KB)
Section 65 of the EPBC Act requires a review of the Agreement's operation at least once every 5 years.
The agreement was reviewed in 2019 as part of the update.
Get in touch
If you have any questions about bilateral agreements with the Northern Territory:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: +61 1800 803 772 between 9 am and 5 pm Canberra time.