The EPBC Act Condition-setting Policy (the Policy) outlines the Australian Government’s approach to considering state and territory approval conditions when approving a project under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). The Policy is not a statutory document.
The Policy aims to streamline the regulatory process by avoiding duplicative or unnecessary approval conditions between jurisdictions, in circumstances where state or territory conditions appropriately manage the environmental impacts on a matter of national environmental significance. This will reduce red tape, while ensuring that high environmental standards are maintained.
When a project is subject to state or territory conditions related to a matter of national environmental significance the Policy provides guidance and information on how the Australian Government determines whether:
- a single condition to require compliance with particular state or territory conditions is attached to an approval under the EPBC Act;
- custom conditions are attached to an approval under the EPBC Act; or
- no conditions are attached to an approval under the EPBC Act.
Submissions by interested parties on the EPBC Act Assessment Bilateral Agreement Draft Conditions Policy closed on 15 May 2015. Further information can be found at: Condition setting under assessment bilateral agreements - consultation paper.
When does the condition-setting policy apply to a project?
The Policy is part of a wider suite of activities designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Australian Government’s environmental assessment and approval process, including the ‘One-Stop Shop’ for environmental approvals.
The policy applies to proponents whose project requires approval under the EPBC Act and:
- the project already has state or territory conditions that relate to a matter of national environmental significance, or
- the project has been assessed under an approval bilateral agreement and the state or territory has proposed conditions for the relevant matters of national environmental significance, or
- the project has been assessed under an accredited assessment process and the state or territory has proposed conditions for the relevant matters of national environmental significance.
The policy does not apply to proponents whose project requires approval under the EPBC Act and:
- the state or territory conditions already issued to the project do not relate to the relevant matters of national environmental significance, or
- the project does not require state or territory environmental approval.
What if my project already has EPBC and State/Territory approval conditions?
If your project already has EPBC and State/Territory approval conditions for matters of national environmental significance, you may wish to contact the Department to discuss the suitability of your project for streamlining initiatives currently being undertaken for EPBC post approval processes.
If you would like to discuss the Policy in relation to your approved EPBC Act project please email the Department at firstname.lastname@example.org. Clearly mark the email as ‘EPBC Act Condition-setting Policy’ and specify the project name and EPBC project number.
How does the Condition-setting policy relate to the Outcomes-based Policy’?
The Australian Government considers that all conditions of approval should be designed to achieve the best possible environmental outcomes, in accordance with the requirements of the EPBC Act. Where approval conditions are applied, the Outcomes-based Conditions Policy and associated guidance should be considered. These documents are available on the Department’s website at: EPBC Act policy statements.
If you would like further information about the Policy please contact the Department’s Business Entry Point using one of the following methods:
Business Entry Point
Environment Assessment Branch
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Clearly mark the email as ‘EPBC Act Condition-setting Policy’ and (if relevant) specify the project name and EPBC project number.