We administer the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). We provide access to reports on the operation of the Act, operational guidelines to help Australian Government agencies, and the outcomes of audits and independent reviews.
The department must prepare, on an annual basis, a report for the Environment minister on the operation of the Act.
Each report includes statistics on the operation of the EPBC Act, such as data on:
- referrals, assessments and approvals
- compliance with our statutory time frames.
Look at our annual reports
The annual reports of Commonwealth departments, Parliamentary departments, Commonwealth authorities, Commonwealth companies and other Commonwealth agencies must under Section 516a of the EPBC Act, all now include a report on environmental matters in their annual reports.
The annual reports must:
- report how the agency's activities have accorded with the principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD)
- identify how their departmental outcomes contributed to ESD
- report on their impacts upon the environment and measures taken to minimise those impacts
- identify the review mechanisms they used to improve the effectiveness of their measures to minimise its impact upon the environment
Guidelines and criteria for Australian Government agencies:
- Guidelines for Section 516A reporting - help with implementing Section 516A
- Criteria for Determining ESD Relevance - help with deciding which activities to report on
- Generic ESD and Environmental Performance Indicators for Commonwealth Organisations - help with ongoing monitoring.
Every 5 years, the minister must instruct the department to prepare a State of the Environment report for Australia. The minister must table this report in Parliament.
An independent review of the Act is required at least every 10 years. The minister must establish the review of the Act's operation, and the extent to which the Act has met its objectives.
This review is reported to the minister, who then tables the report in Parliament.
Every 3 months, we release a quarterly assessment performance report. The report shows:
- key decisions made
- timeliness of referral and approval decisions
- types of decision outcomes
- geographic distribution of projects
- referrals by type of industry.
The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) conducts performance audits of Australian Government services under the Public Accounts and Audit Committee Act 1951. The ANAO's work supports the Auditor-General’s conduct of audits and related services.
Most recently, the ANAO delivered its 2020 audit report on Referrals, Assessments and Approvals of Controlled Actions under the EPBC Act.
The Portfolio Audit Committee is established by:
- Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
- Director of National Parks
- Sydney Harbour Federation Trust.
This complies with:
- section 45 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act)
- section 17 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 (PGPA Rule).
The committee gives independent advice to our secretary on risk, finance, control and compliance, as well as external accountability responsibilities.
Get in touch
For more information about measuring our performance, please contact us by:
- online enquiry form
- phone 1800 920 528 between 9 am and 5 pm AEST/AEDT.