The agency, owner, lessee or person proposing to take the action must refer a proposed action when the action is:
- undertaken by the Commonwealth, a Commonwealth agency or a constitutional corporation,
- taken by persons for the purposes of trade or commerce between states and territories or with other countries
- taken in a Commonwealth area or a Territory
and the action has, will have or is likely to have a significant impact on National Heritage values.
Further actions that must be referred to the Minister include actions taken by persons that have, will have or are likely to have a significant impact on:
- National Heritage values that are indigenous heritage values or
- National Heritage values of a National Heritage place that is in an area where Australia has obligations under Article 8 of the Biodiversity Convention.
Legal advice may be required to clarify whether an owner, manager or person proposing to take the action is considered to be a constitutional corporation for the purposes of the EPBC Act.
If you are not sure whether significant impacts are likely, you can still make a referral and the Minister is obliged to tell you within 20 business days as to whether or not the EPBC Act applies.
If at any stage of a project it emerges that there may be significant impacts on a protected matter, the proposed action should be referred to the Minister for a decision on whether approval is required.