A new way of submitting EPBC Act referral applications started on 7 April 2022.
The new, online, dedicated EPBC Act Public Portal has been designed to replace the EPBC Act Public Notices and Have Your Say pages. It has been designed to improve the way in which we process referrals and capture feedback under the EPBC Act. As a member of the public, you'll be able to follow a projects progress and comment when you have the opportunity.
Public comments for projects submitted in the new EPBC Act Business Portal will be made through the new EPBC Act Public Portal.
For more information visit the new way of lodging referrals page.
We list all projects referred to us under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) in our Public Notices database. All referrals are published to ensure the public can comment. We also make our referral decisions public.
When someone refers a project to us under the EPBC Act, we first determine whether the referral is valid. Once we confirm this, we publish the referral and - usually - all of its supporting documents on:
Sometimes, we may redact information in supporting documents due to privacy or security issues.
The EPBC Act - Public Notices database allows you - and anyone else - to view all projects that may have a significant impact on nationally significant (protected) animals, plants, habitats or places. We call these things 'protected matters'.
In the database, anyone can see:
- projects referred to us under the EPBC Act
- public notices, including invitations to comment on a project, and any decisions we’ve made on that project
- public notices on cetacean permits (for research on whales and dolphins)
- referrals that are open for public comment
- exemption notices (projects that we've decided don't need approval or assessment)
- exemption notices for projects that hold cetacean permits
- strategic assessment notices
- wildlife trade permits.
Looking up referrals
To find any EPBC Act referral that's open for comment, or that we've published our decision on, search the EPBC Act - Public Notices – referrals page, using either the:
- referral number, or
- keywords in the title.
Or, use the 'Filter by' search fields to find:
- notices of referral decisions (search ‘referral decision’)
- assessment documents (search ‘assessment’)
- notices of approval decisions (search ‘decision’).
You can use one search field, or a combination of them.
To find a specific referral, select its reference number to view:
- referral documentation
- any decision notices
- any assessment documentation.
Commenting on referrals
Anyone can make a public comment on a referred project within 10 business days of us publishing it. The Commonwealth minister for the Environment minister (the Environment minister), or their delegate, may consider comments submitted after this time. However, they don't have to do so.
The Environment minister or delegate will then make their referral decision within 10 business days of public comments closing.
We are unable to accept public comments by email, phone or social media. Instead, follow the process on our Have Your Say platform.
Get in touch
For any questions about the public comment process, contact:
- Phone: 02 6274 1112
- Email: email@example.com