Hazardous waste

Latest news

Improving Australia’s data on hazardous waste

Trends, sources, generation (arisings) and fates of hazardous wastes have been analysed to enhance Australia’s reporting obligations under the Basel Convention.

Australia's hazardous waste infrastructure

A 20 year projection of Australian hazardous waste generation, hazardous waste infrastructure and shortfalls in Australia’s capacity to deal with various hazardous wastes has been developed to inform hazardous waste policy.

Hazardous waste reform

Key hazardous waste reform options to improve the operation and administration of the Hazardous Waste Act and to improve harmonisation with other policy areas have been analysed and tested with a targeted stakeholder group.

Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989

The main purpose of the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989 ('the Act') is to regulate the export, import and transit of hazardous waste to ensure that hazardous waste is disposed of safely so that human beings and the environment, both within and outside Australia, are protected from the harmful effects of the waste.

What we do

The Department of the Environment administers and implements the Act. The Act was developed to enable Australia to comply with specific obligations under the Basel Convention on the Control of the Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their disposal, a Convention set up to control the international movements of hazardous wastes.

The main functions performed by the Department in relation to hazardous waste include:

  • Processing of export, import and transit permit applications under the Act;
  • Ensuring compliance and enforcement with the Act;
  • Preparing, implementing and amending legislation relating to the international movements of hazardous waste to, from or through Australia;
  • Formulating and implementing policies relating to the international movements of hazardous waste to, from or through Australia;
  • Providing administrative assistance to the Hazardous Waste Technical Group which has been established to provide guidance to the Department on hazardous waste management;
  • Participating in International forums such as the Basel Convention and OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) which deal with the international movements of hazardous waste; and
  • Consulting, preparing and providing information to stakeholders on the Act and the permit process.

The Department of the Environment is the official competent authority for Australia under the Basel Convention and this function is administered by the Hazardous Waste Section.

Contact us

For further information in relation to the international movement of hazardous waste please contact:

Hazardous Waste Section
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601 Australia
Phone: 1800 803 772
Fax: 02 6274 1164
Email: hwa@environment.gov.au

You are welcome to call in and see us by appointment.