Guidance Note 4 - Reconsideration: Implementing the requirements of sections 78, 78A, 78B and 78C of the EPBC Act
About the guidance note
This Guidance Note is intended for use by staff of the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. It should not be relied upon by any other person. This Guidance Note does not represent legal or professional advice. The policies and procedures included in this Guidance Note are intended to serve as guidance only and should be applied consistently with the requirements of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cwlth) (EPBC Act) and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000 (Cwlth) (EPBC Regulations). To the extent of any inconsistency, the EPBC Act and EPBC Regulations will prevail over this Guidance Note. If Departmental officers consider that this Guidance Note may be inconsistent with the EPBC Act or the EPBC Regulations, please contact the Legislation Policy Section. This guidance note may be subject to change at any time.
An Introduction to Reconsideration
Decisions made under section 75 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) ('whether or not the action is a controlled action') can only be reconsidered in a limited set of circumstances. The ability to reconsider a decision is an important provision of the EPBC Act, as it is the only way to revoke and remake a decision made under section 75.
The EPBC Act does not set a time limit for processing reconsideration requests. However, requests must be processed as soon as practicable. The timeframe for processing requests will depend on the individual facts and circumstances of a request.
As with the other guidance notes on issues relating to the operation of the EPBC Act, this guidance note refers and is directed towards 'departmental officers' involved in the preparation of material for decisions by the Minister, and the Minister's delegates within the department. However, except where there is a reference in the guidance notes to the exercise of a delegated power by a Ministerial delegate, references to departmental officers do not imply that these officers will make a decision under the EPBC Act.