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Department of the Environment and Water Resources annual report 2006–07

Volume two
Department of the Environment and Water Resources, 2007
ISSN 1441-9335

Legislation annual reports 2006–07 (continued)

Operation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (continued)

Appendix 4—Compliance with timeframes (section 518 report)

The EPBC Act and Regulations specify timeframes within which decisions must be made and other actions completed. If the timeframes are not met, then in accordance with section 518 of the EPBC Act a statement must be provided setting out the reasons for the delay. Things that were not done within the statutory timeframes in 2006—07 are listed in Tables 16 and 17 below.

Table 18: Referrals, assessments and approvals in 2006—07
Section Total Late Reasons for delay
75(1) Decision on referral 241 40 Delay in obtaining sufficient information to make decision
75(1) Decision on referral 1 95 33 Delay in obtaining sufficient information to make decision
77(1)(b) Publishing notice of decision on referral 336 12 Delay in automated notification due to technical difficulties
77(4) Providing reasons for decision 8 3 Availability of decision-maker; need to obtain legal advice/review
88(1) Decision on assessment approach 23 5 Delay in obtaining sufficient information to make decision
88(1) Decision on assessment approach 1 30 6 Delay in obtaining sufficient information to make decision
91(1) Publishing notice of decision on assessment approach 53 13 Delay in notification that the level of assessment had been made; proponents notified in writing by decision date but delay in automated notification due to technical difficulties
95(1) Preparation of assessment report for preliminary documentation 19 12 Need to adequately consider and test complex technical issues raised in both the information provided by proponent and in the assessment process
100(1) Preparation of assessment report for public environment report 2 2 Need to adequately consider complex technical issues
105(1) Preparation of assessment report for environmental impact statement 2 1 Joint assessment with state; need to ensure both jurisdictions satisfied with guidelines before finalising
130(1) Approval decision 43 15 Need for ongoing consultation with proponents/states over content of final approval conditions. Additional independent work commissioned to inform decision
130(1B)(a) Approval decision 1 1 1 Need for ongoing consultation with proponents over content of final approval conditions
Note:
1 Post 19 February 2007 timeframes.
Table 19: Other provisions
Section Total Late Reasons for delay
Part 13 Species and communities
189(4) Provide advice on nomination of species 13 1 Administrative error
189(5) Decision on listing 16 9 These nominations were given to the minister before commencement of amendments to the EPBC Act on 19 February. Their management through the relevant transitional arrangements technically made the minister's decision late for the purposes of the 19 February timeframe and this report. Through the transitional arrangements, however, the minister's decision will be made sooner than if the nominations were subject to each of the statutory requirements under the new Act
Part 13A International movement of wildlife specimens
303EG Decision on proposed amendment to the list of specimens suitable for live import 7 4 Administrative delays
Part 15 Protected areas — managing national heritage places
324E(3) Requesting the chair of the Australian Heritage Council to assess a nomination for the National Heritage List 54 2 Administrative delays
324J(2) Decision on national heritage listing after receipt of assessment report 19 11 Various reasons, principally timing of announcements to better provide for publicity for heritage listing, but also pressure of ministerial business and legal issues
324J(4) Providing to relevant persons and publishing on the internet advice that nomination rejected (including reasons) 7 1 Administrative delays
Part 15 Protected areas — managing Commonwealth heritage places
341J(2) Decision on Commonwealth heritage listing after receipt of assessment report 7 6 Principally pressure of ministerial business