The final report of the Independent Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) was publicly released on 28 January 2021.
The final report is a comprehensive review of the EPBC Act and makes 38 recommendations for reform. The implementation pathway for the recommendations includes to:
- create a provision to make the National Environmental Standards as regulations;
- improve the durability of the settings for accreditation of other decision-makers;
- provide comprehensive powers for effective compliance and enforcement, and ensure that the use of these powers is not subject to ministerial direction;
- establish the position of Environment Assurance Commissioner with responsibility for strong oversight and audit of Commonwealth decision-making and accredited arrangements; and
- establish the recommended committee structure.
The report is available in full here: https://epbcactreview.environment.gov.au/resources/final-report