Critical habitat protection
Aside from planning the recovery of threatened species, the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) is also required to identify critical habitat. Critical habitats are areas of land that are crucial to the survival of particular threatened species, populations and ecological communities.
Critical habitat is only declared after extensive consultation with the Scientific Committee, public authorities, landholders and the wider community.
Once critical habitat has been declared, it affects the development assessment process. If a proposed development is likely to affect critical habitat, a species impact statement will often have to be prepared.
Critical habitat declaration process
1. OEH recommends that a particular area should be declared critical habitat, having first consulted with the Scientific Committee.
2. The critical habitat recommendation is placed on public exhibition. During the public exhibition period, community members can comment on the plan by sending OEH a submission.
3. OEH finalises the critical habitat recommendation, taking account of all submissions.
4. OEH forwards the final critical habitat recommendation to the Minister for the Environment for approval.
5. The Minister for the Environment considers the critical habitat recommendation, taking account of:
- all submissions that were received during the public exhibition period
- the likely social and economic consequences of the recommendation.
The Minister may send the recommendation back to OEH for further consideration.
6. The Minister for the Environment approves the recommendation, and the critical habitat is declared.
Page last updated: 13 October 2011