Protected Matters Search Tool

About the Protected Matters Search Tool

This tool was designed to assist members of the public in searching for matters protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). For a selected area, the tool generates a list of protected matters that may occur in or near the area.

The tool draws from many sources of data including mapped locations of World Heritage properties, Ramsar wetlands, threatened, migratory and many marine species, threatened ecological communities and protected areas.

The report generated will assist anyone proposing a development to determine whether their development is likely to affect a matter of national environmental significance and consequently require referral for assessment and approval under the EPBC Act.

It will also highlight circumstances, for example the distribution of cetaceans, where a permit may be required under the EPBC Act and provides links to further information.

You can use this tool to:

You can find out about proposals that have been referred and related notifications via: EPBC public notifications.



Where does the information come from?

This tool has been designed bringing together an array of information from a range of sources including government, research and community organisations. Maps have been collated from a range of sources, at various resolutions. For example: the maps of boundaries of World Heritage properties, Ramsar wetlands and conservation reserves were provided by state government agencies, which have primary responsibility for land tenure. These are generally captured at a scale of 1:250K or better.

The tool also contains information on the distribution of threatened species. This information varies in resolution according to our scientific knowledge; some species are well known, while other species have yet to be fully investigated.

For threatened ecological communities where the distribution is well known, maps have been derived from recovery plans, State vegetation maps, remote sensing imagery and other sources. Where threatened ecological community distributions are less well known, existing vegetation maps and point location data are used to produce indicative distribution maps.

For species where the distributions are well known, maps have been digitised from sources such as recovery plans and detailed habitat studies.

For species whose distributions are less well known, point locations are collated from government wildlife authorities, museums, and non-government organisations; bioclimatic distribution models are generated; and these validated by experts. In some cases, the distribution maps are based solely on expert knowledge.

This tool represents the baseline of our scientific knowledge on the distribution of threatened species and is the first time such a consolidated national base has been put together.



Acknowledgements

This database has been compiled from a range of data sources. The department acknowledges the following custodians who have contributed valuable data and advice:


Environment Australia is extremely grateful to the many organisations and individuals who provided expert advice and information on numerous draft distributions.



Using the Protected Matters Search Tool

The Interactive Map provides a graphical means to identify areas of interest within Australia and its Territories. From the interactive map, display layers may be selected to show matters of national environmental significance to aid the work you do. If you need help using the interactive map, or wish to provide feedback, please contact ERIN via email on web-gis@environment.gov.au.



Browser Requirements

You will need to have a Javascript enabled web browser and accept all cookies. Works best on Internet Explorer V. 7 or higher and Firefox 3.6 and above.

If the map fails to load, please contact ERIN via email on web-gis@environment.gov.au. Please include a phone number where we can contact you.



Map Navigation



How can I use this tool?

The map search and the coordinate search both enable you to produce a report on potential matters of national environmental significance and other matters protected under the EPBC Act in your nominated area of interest.

This report can then be used as an information source for you to determine through your knowledge of the Act and its requirements whether a proposal needs to be referred for assessment and approval under the Act, or whether a permit may be required.

Guidance on whether a proposal needs assessment and approval under the Act, can be found through the Administrative guidelines on significance, at: http://www.environment.gov.au/epbc/guidelines-policies.html



User Basics



Tools

Report

Clicking on the Report icon opens the reporting pane which enables the user to draw an area of interest on the map and report on it. When drawing, please make sure the mouse is stationary when clicking, as dragging the mouse will not register a point. Double click to end the shape if drawing a Line or Polygon.

Print

Print button launches the print service, which will generate a map based on the selected parameters or the default settings (A3, PDF and portait).

Measure

Clicking on the Measure icon allows measurement of Area (Sq Miles, Sq Kilometers, Hectares, Sq Yards, Sq Feet, Sq Meters), Distance (Miles, Kilometers, Feet, Meters, Yards) and Location (Degrees, DMS - Degrees, Minutes, Seconds).

Draw

Clicking on the Draw icon allows a selection of graphics (including text) to be drawn on the map. These graphics will be retained on the map if a print (via Print button) is required.



Layers

Layers

The Legend allows the user to change the visible layers that are displayed on the map.

A shaded out check box means the layer cannot be selected at this zoom level. When hovering over individual legend values, the visible scale the layer can be seen at is shown.

Clicking on the legend link will open up the metadata for the dataset behind the layer.


Search Options

Address Search

Address Search

For an address you can enter all or part of a street name and/or suburb/town name, as well as a street number and state. The search is not case sensitive.

Address Search Results

The address search may be done on part or all of a street name or part or all of a suburb name, and restricts the data to the state in which it is most likely relevant. The example given is for Grant in ACT, returning one result.

Geographic Search

Geographic Search

For a geographic location you can enter all or part of the location name. The search is not case sensitive.

Geographic Search Results

Geographic searches may be done on parts of names or land types such as 'mount' (see the example at left), lake, valley, ridge, rise, island, hill, or a known name like Taylor, Crack, Burley, George, Hamilton (or part thereof if the spelling is unclear)

Zoom To Coordinate Search

Zoom To Coordinate

For a Coordinate search you can enter coordinates in either; decimal degrees, degrees minutes seconds, or decimal minutes. The coordinate and a label can be added to the marker.

Click on Zoom to zoom to the coordinates that have been entered. Click on Clear to remove the content from the coordinate fields and the marker from the map.

Interactive Map

You can obtain a report on your nominated area of interest by using the Interactive Map to identify your area of interest, and report on it or produce a map of it.

To Report via the Interactive Map

Report by Region

You can obtain a report on your nominated area of interest by using the report by region feature.

To Report by Region

The following regions may be reported on:

  1. Local Government Area
  2. Regions for National Resource Management, and
  3. Postcode

To report by region, select the named region of interest, then

  1. From the drop down list, select a feature.
  2. Enter an email address, and
  3. Click on the 'Report' button.
  4. A splash screen with your report generation ID will appear. Note this ID.
  5. Check your email for the matching report generation ID and PDF report on the content on your area of interest.
  6. If the email does not arrive within the hour, email web-gis@environment.gov.au with your report generation ID requesting assistance.

Report by Coordinates

You can obtain a report on your nominated area of interest by using the report by coordinate feature.

To Report by Coordinates

  1. Go to the home page of the Protected Matters Search Tool (PMST)
  2. Click on the Report by Coordinates link
  3. Enter a Feature Type (either Point, Line or Area)
  4. Enter a Coordinate Type (either Decimal Degrees or Degrees Minutes Seconds)
  5. Enter the Latitude and Longitude details
  6. Click Add to List button
  7. Repeat steps 4-6 until all coordinates are entered OR
  8. Type in the coordinates for your area directly into the Coordinates box, below the Add to List button. If you don't know the coordinates, use a paper map, or a GIS, or use the map search.
  9. If you make a mistake, click the Clear List button and repeat your entry.
  10. Enter an optional buffer (in kms)
  11. Enter your email address in the Email Address field.
  12. Click on 'Report' button, and a report will be generated on your area of interest and sent to your email account.
  13. A splash screen with your report generation ID will appear. Note this ID.
  14. Check your email for the matching report generation ID and PDF report on the content on your area of interest.
  15. If the email does not arrive within the hour, email web-gis@environment.gov.au with your report generation ID requesting assistance.