New Ground | Expert Environmental Consultants in Queensland

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Self-Assessment: Understanding Your Duties Under the EPBC Act

At New Ground, as experienced environmental consultants, we’re committed to ensuring the success of your projects in balance with the environment. A critical part of our commitment is helping you understand your responsibilities under Australia’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The EPBC Act safeguards nationally significant animals, plants, habitats, and places in Australian territories, and any action impacting these areas may require approval under the Act.

Firstly, the essential step in understanding your duties under the Act is the self-assessment process. This helps you determine whether your proposed action needs to be referred for an assessment under the EPBC Act. Therefore, this process as early as possible allows you to gather sufficient information for making an informed judgment about your project’s potential impacts.

Identifying Protected Matters with the PMST

The initial phase of self-assessment involves identifying which protected matters your project might affect. For this purpose, you can utilise the Protected Matters Search Tool (PMST). This free tool allows you to check this information and generate a comprehensive report, which will provide insights into all possible impacts, whether they are direct, indirect, or facilitated.

Assessing Likely Impacts with the Significant Impact Guidelines

If your PMST report suggests that your project might impact one or more protected matters, then your next step is to refer to the Significant Impact Guidelines. These guidelines are a valuable resource for understanding the significance of your impacts and determining how to avoid or reduce them. You can access the Significant Impact Guidelines and additional EPBC Act resources on the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water website.

The Role of Strategic Assessments

Another important tool to consider in your planning process is the Strategic Assessments. These effectively provide a macro-level approach to managing and protecting matters of national environmental significance. If your proposed action is covered by a Strategic Assessment, it’s critical to take this into account.

At New Ground, we are here to guide you through this self-assessment process. Our team of experienced environmental consultants, including planners, ecologists, and arborists, can assist in interpreting your PMST report and the Significant Impact Guidelines. Moreover, we’re committed to helping you fulfil your duties under the EPBC Act, ensuring your project’s success in balance with Australia’s unique and valuable ecosystems.

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