Process and timeframes

Finalised priority assessment lists assessment process

For each assessment period there is an individual Finalised Priority Assessment List (FPAL) that lists the items included in that year. Each annual FPAL must be published and the Committee must seek public comment on each species, ecological community and key threatening process on the FPAL as part of its statutory assessment process. The combined table of all FPAL items currently under assessment details all current ongoing assessments. Once an assessment for an FPAL item has been completed the item will be removed from the FPAL items currently under assessment table. All items included on FPAL lists since the introduction of this statutory process in 2007 can be found by referring to the individual annual FPAL lists (this includes those items that have completed assessments).

Further information on the outcome of the assessment and listing status of a species, ecological community or key threatening process can be found by checking the full lists of threatened fauna, flora, ecological communities and key threatening processes, or by searching the Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database or the unsuccessful assessed nominations.

Most listed species and ecological communities are matters of national environmental significance. Actions that have, or are likely to have, a significant impact on a matter of national environmental significance require approval under the EPBC Act. Species listed in the categories of 'extinct' or 'conservation dependent' and ecological communities listed as 'vulnerable' are not matters of national environmental significance.

Assessment timeframes

The assessment period for species, ecological communities and key threatening processes included on each annual FPAL list commences on 1 October each year. Timeframes for the completion of assessments are recommended by the Committee and determined by the Minister. Timeframes vary depending on the complexity of the nomination but are generally 1–2 years for species, 2–3 years for ecological communities and 2–3 years for key threatening processes.

The completion time listed against each item in an FPAL is the date by which the Committee must complete its assessment and provide its advice to the Minister. The assessment may be completed earlier than the indicated completion time. After the Committee provides its advice, the Minister has 90 business days from the date the advice is received in which to make a decision.

During the assessment period the Committee can request that the Minister extend the assessment period for it to complete its assessment. Extension requests can be due to a number of reasons, for example if the Committee is waiting on additional studies or data to better inform its assessment. The Minister can also extend the decision time after receiving the advice from the Committee, to enable further information to be considered. Further details regarding extensions of statutory timeframes are provided at Extensions to EPBC Act assessment timeframes.