Environment Australia, May 2002
About this proposal
The process to be followed to establish new Commonwealth reserves is set out in Division 4, Subdivision B of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The simplified outline of that Subdivision states:
"The Governor-General can proclaim Commonwealth reserves over areas of land or sea:
- that the Commonwealth owns; or
- that the Commonwealth or the Director leases; or
- that are in a Commonwealth marine area; or
- outside Australia that the Commonwealth has international obligations to protect.
A Proclamation must assign the reserve to a particular category that affects how the reserve is managed and used.
Proclamations can be made to alter and revoke reserves.
The Director must consult publicly before some Proclamations are made."
The purpose of this paper is to provide the basis for consultation on the notice of intent to declare a Commonwealth reserve under the EPBC Act in the region of Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI) in the Southern Ocean.
Australia's Oceans Policy (1998) contains an initial list of five priority areas for declaration as marine reserves. The reserve in the Heard Island and McDonald Islands region will be the last of these areas to be declared.