Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act draft policy

Published 30 October 2015 by Smith, Moshumi, Environment Protection (Strategic Policy), Department of the Environment

The Australian Government Department of the Environment has developed draft policy and guidance material to support implementation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Draft policies include:

Draft Policy Statement: Outcomes-Based Conditions Policy and Guidance

This policy provides guidance on the use of outcomes-based conditions in the environmental approval process under the EPBC Act. Outcomes-based conditions specify the environmental outcome that must be achieved by an approval holder without prescribing how that outcome should be achieved. Outcome-based conditions give approval holders the flexibility to be innovative and achieve the best environmental outcomes at the lowest cost.

Draft Policy Statement: Advanced Environmental Offsets under the EPBC Act

This policy provides guidance on the use of advanced offsets under Commonwealth environmental legislation. Advanced environmental offsets are a supply of offsets for future use, transfer or sale by proponents or offset providers. Unlike conventional offsets, which are generally put in place to compensate for the residual adverse significant impacts of an action following approval, advanced offsets are put in place before any impact occurs. Advanced offsets can streamline the environmental assessment process and improve environmental outcomes through early implementation of conservation benefits and more strategic offset delivery.

Draft Guidance Material: Engage Early - Indigenous Engagement Guidelines

These guidelines provide information to improve the way project proponents engage and consult with Indigenous people during the environmental assessment process under the EPBC Act. In addition to the statutory public comment periods required under the EPBC Act, the Guidelines set out the Australian Government’s expectations on how and when Indigenous engagement should occur.

For more information visit the Department of Environment's website

Victoria Press, Director of Policy Implementation-Environment Protection, was also available at the 2015 EIANZ Annual Conference and discussed these policies and guidelines.