Cover of the final report of the Independent Review of the EPBC Act

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