Guidance Note 7 - Definition of 'Environment' under section 528 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.
This Guidance Note provides guidance on the definition of the term Environment in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
The EPBC Act prohibits certain actions that, without approval, are likely to or will have a significant impact on the environment. Understanding what is included in the definition of 'Environment' in the EPBC Act is important in understanding whether the EPBC Act applies to certain actions.
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.