Acts Administered by the Office of Environment and Heritage
Acts Administered by the Environment Protection Authority
Other Acts Administered by the Minister for Environment and the Minister for Heritage
This Act transfers forested land in the Brigalow and Nandewar area to the national park estate in order to create a Community Conservation Area. The purpose of the Community Conservation Area is to reserve land for permanent conservation of land, protection of areas of natural and cultural heritage significance to Aboriginal people, sustainable forestry and mining and other appropriate uses. This Act gives local communities a strong involvement in the management of the Community Conservation Area through the establishment of a Community Conservation Council.
This Act makes provisions to constitute the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust and define its functions and to vest certain land and other property in that Trust.
This Act makes provisions relating to the use and occupation of the coastal region in order to preserve and protect these areas whilst encouraging sustainable use of the areas. The Act also facilitates the carrying out of certain coastal protection works.
Full Text l More about contaminated land
This Act enables the EPA to respond to contamination that it has reason to believe is significant enough to warrant regulation.
The Act gives the EPA power to:
- declare land to be significantly contaminated land
- order a person to undertake a preliminary investigation of land that the EPA suspects to be contaminated
- order a person to take management action in relation to significantly contaminated land
- approve a voluntary proposal to manage significantly contaminated land
The hierarchy of people that the EPA may direct to take action is as follows:
the person/s responsible for the contamination
- notional owner/s.
The EPA may also direct a public authority to carry out management action in relation to contaminated land. Those ordered to take management action may appeal against the order. They can also recover costs from the person/s responsible for the contamination in some circumstances.
Duty to notify
The Act requires land owners and persons who carry on contaminating activities to notify the EPA of the contamination of land in certain circumstances.
Site Auditor Accreditation scheme
The Act allows the EPA to accredit people as site auditors. Site auditors must issue a Site Audit Statement indicating the land uses that any site is suitable for.
The EPA is required to keep a record of current and former sites regulated by it. Certain information about current sites is referred to councils, who must record and make such information available using planning certificates.
The Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport) Act 2008 (assented to 3.12.2008) commenced on 1 May 2009. This Act replaces the Road and Rail Transport (Dangerous Goods) Act 1997 and provides for the regulation of the transport of dangerous goods by road and rail.
Note: OEH only administers Part 6A of this Act in so far as it relates to water and water utilities and section 40(1A), and s45 in so far as it relates to Part 6A and section 40(1A).
This Act establishes the Department of Energy, constitutes the Energy Corporation of New South Wales and defines its functions. Sections 40(1A) and 45 relate to the power of the Minister to request certain information to be provided to him. Part 6A establishes the Climate Change Fund which is used to promote water and energy savings and reduce the impact of climate change associated with water and energy activities. This Part also requires the development of energy savings action plans by State agencies and water savings action plans by all local governments in the Sydney Water Corporation operation area and by the local governments of Gosford and Wyong.
Full Text l More about Trust grants
This Act sets up an Environmental Trust with the objects of:
- Promoting restoration and rehabilitation projects in the public and private sectors which will, or are likely to, reduce pollution, the waste-stream or environmental degradation;
- Promoting research into environmental problems in both the public and private sectors;
- Promoting environmental education projects in the public and private sectors, and public awareness of environmental issues; and
- Funding the acquisition of land for the national parks estate.
The Trust may make grants to any person, including to any individual, corporation or organisation. Each financial year a grants program is published in a newspaper circulated statewide detailing the priorities of funding for projects and the amounts available for different program areas and individual grants.
The Trust may also expend an annual maximum of $500,000 on emergency pollution clean-up costs and clean-up costs of abandoned or 'orphan' waste materials. The EPA publishes guidelines that detail the circumstances in which money can be expended for these purposes.
The Trust is funded by a standing annual appropriation of $13.5 million (as adjusted for inflation) from the Consolidated Fund.
As a result of the Forestry Restructuring and Nature Conservation Act 1995, grants in the period from 8 December 1995 to 30 June 2000 were limited to:
- $80,000 p.a. to schools for environmental restoration and rehabilitation projects;
- $850,000 p.a. to community organisations for restoration and rehabilitation projects;
- $150,000 p.a. for environmental education projects.
During this period, the limit for expenditure for emergency pollution and orphan waste clean-up costs will remain at $500,000 p.a.
The Environmental Trust Act repeals and replaces the Environmental Education Trust Act 1990, the Environmental Restoration and Rehabilitation Trust Act 1990 and the Environmental Research Trust Act 1990.
The Act sets up the Hazardous Chemicals Advisory Committee. Its functions include advising the EPA in relation to the assessment and control of chemicals that are environmentally hazardous. The EPA may assess chemicals under the Act.
The EPA may declare substances to be chemical wastes for the purposes of the Act. Examples of substances that have been so declared include dioxin contaminated waste materials and PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) wastes.
Chemical control orders
The EPA may make chemical control orders (CCOs) with respect to assessed chemicals or declared chemical wastes. These CCOs may regulate activities such as the manufacture, processing, conveying, buying, selling or disposal of the chemical or declared waste. Chemicals for which a CCO has been made are referred to as environmentally hazardous chemicals.
A CCO may prohibit activities in relation to environmentally hazardous chemicals or declared chemical wastes, except under the authority of a licence issued by the EPA.
This Act enables approvals to be granted to carry out filming in national parks, marine parks and other areas regulated under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 and the Marine Parks Act 1997, provided certain criteria are met. The granting of such approval is limited in respect of wilderness areas to filming for educational, scientific, research or tourism purposes. The Filming Approval Act 2004 was enacted in response to the NSW Land and Environment Court decision in Blue Mountains Conservation Society Inc v Director-General of National Parks and Wildlife and Ors  NSWLEC 196 which found that a consent to film a commercial movie in a wilderness area was invalid.
Parts 5A and 5B of this Act are administered by the Minister for the Environment. The remaining parts are administered jointly by the Minister for Primary Industries and the Minister for Regional Infrastructure.
This Act establishes the Forestry Corporation of New South Wales (FCNSW), a state owned corporation. The Act provides for the dedication, management and use of State forests and other Crown-timber land for forestry and other purposes and repeals the Forestry Act 1916 and the Timber Marketing Act 1977.
Parts 5A and 5B of the Act deal with Forestry Agreements and Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals (IFOAs) that were formally established under the Forestry and National Park Estate Act 1998 (repealed). IFOAs apply to forestry operations in State forests and other Crown-timber lands, except national park estate, and can be granted in those areas covered by a forestry agreement. The Act integrates the regulatory regimes for environmental planning and assessment, for the protection of the environment and for threatened species conservation.
This Act provides for the payment of expenditure on forestry industry restructuring, nature conservation and certain other environmental initiatives (including assistance schemes and programs in the Brigalow and Nandewar areas) from the Environmental Trust Fund established under the Environmental Trust Act 1998. Payments from the fund made for the purpose of forestry industry restructuring are limited to $80 million and may not be made after 30 June 2007.
This Act makes changes to the national parks estate including:
- Revocation of the dedication of certain land as flora reserves (within State forests) and as State forest;
- Reservation or dedication of that land to create nine national parks (including South East Forest National Park and Chaelundi National Park), one nature reserve and to make additions to 15 existing national parks;
- Revocation of certain land as national park, and re-reservation as other national park;
- Alteration of names of certain national parks.
The Act also provides that the Minister may exclude certain land and access roads from reservation as national parks estate. Such excluded land is vested in the Minister on behalf of the Crown for the purposes of Part 11 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.
This Act revokes certain dedications of State forests and part of a timber reserve and reserves or dedicates these lands, and certain other Crown lands as:
- Additions to four existing national parks (including Werrikimbe National Park and Barrington Tops National Park); and
- Addition to one existing nature reserve (Mount Seaview Nature Reserve) and one new nature reserve.
This Act revokes certain dedications of State forests, parts of State forests (including part of a national forest) and the status of certain lands as flora reserves, and reserves these lands as national parks (including Washpool National Park) or parts of national parks.
This Act makes provisions to conserve the environmental heritage of the State. It provides for the identification and registration of items of State heritage significance, provides for the interim protection of items of State heritage significance, constitutes the Heritage Council of New South Wales and confers on it functions relating to the State's heritage.
This Act provides for the care, control and management of certain houses, and other buildings and places, of historic importance. It constitutes the Historic Houses Trust, whose primary object is to control, manage, maintain and conserve historic buildings or places, having regard to the historic, social and architectural interest and significance of those buildings and places.
Lane Cove National Park (Sugarloaf Point Additions) Act 1996
This Act reserves the land known as Sugarloaf Point and certain other land as part of the Lane Cove National Park.
Part 2A of Chapter 6 of this Act is administered by OEH. This Part of the Act allows councils to enter into environmental upgrade agreements with owners of certain buildings and finance providers as a way of funding works to improve the energy, water or environmental efficiency of those buildings.
The Act also makes provision for the Minister to prepare, adopt or vary guidelines relating to environmental upgrade agreements and the functions of councils under the Act, with the concurrence of the Minister for Local Government.
NB: The remainder of the Act is administered by the Minister for Local Government.
This Act provides for the management of Lord Howe Island, an island 700 km north-east of Sydney, off the coast of New South Wales ("the Island"). The Island acts as a transition zone between the tropical and temperate regions of the world, and has a marine environment that is internationally significant.
The Act establishes the Lord Howe Island Board ("the Board") and requires the Board to be comprised of 7 members, including four Islanders. The term 'Islander' is defined in the Act.
The Board has various functions in relation to the Island, including:
- Care, control and management of the Island, including its trading affairs;
- Protection and conservation of fisheries, flora and fauna;
- Fire management;
Provision and maintenance of public utilities such as roads and sewerage; and
- It is the consent authority for the purposes of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
The Act also vests all land on the Island in the Crown and provides that the Minister may grant leases in perpetuity for residence to Islanders. There is provision for the granting of special leases for agricultural purposes. The Minister may also grant permission to occupy vacant Crown lands on the Island.
This Act is jointly administered by the Minister for Primary Industries, the Minister for Regional Infrastructure and the Minister for the Environment.
This Act provides for the protection and management of marine areas. The Act allows the Governor to declare marine parks, which can include the sea and tidal waters and land adjacent to, or periodically covered by, such waters. Declaration of a marine park cannot be revoked, except by an Act of Parliament. OEH administers this Act jointly with the Department of Primary Industries.
Effect of declaration as a marine park
Once a marine park has been declared, the Act establishes that various activities occurring within or affecting the marine park are to be regulated or prohibited. The Act has an effect on the following activities in marine parks:
- development under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
The Minister administering the Fisheries Management Act 1994 and the Minister administering the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 ("the relevant Ministers") can also prohibit the carrying out of any specified activity, including fishing.
A key concept established by the Act is the zoning of marine parks. Regulations for the management, protection and conservation of marine parks can be made under the Act, including regulations relating to zoning plans. Zoning enables areas of a marine park to be zoned for varying levels of protection and to allow or prohibit particular activities within specific areas in the marine park.
Marine Parks Authority
The Act establishes the Marine Parks Authority, consisting of the Directors General of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, the Department of Primary Industries and the Premier's Department. The Authority has responsibility for a range of functions, including the consideration of proposals for new marine parks, the preparation of zoning plans and operational plans for marine parks and the management of activities which may affect marine biodiversity.
Marine Parks Advisory Council
The Act provides for the creation of a Marine Parks Advisory Council to provide advice to the relevant Ministers and the Marine Parks Authority on matters relating to marine park selection and management.
Full Text l More about the National Environment Protection Council
This Act provides for the establishment of a National Environment Protection Council (NEPC) that has power to make national environment protection measures. The New South Wales government will implement national environment protection measures (NEPMs) in New South Wales in a variety of ways, including via legislation. The Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW) is one agency that will administer the implementation of national environment protection measures in New South Wales.
NEPMs implemented using EPA legislation include those relating to:
- assessment of site contamination;
- used packaging materials;
- movement of controlled waste;
- national pollutant inventory.
This Act provides for the transfer of certain State forest and other Crown land to the national park estate or Aboriginal ownership; and for other purposes. It was formerly known as the Forestry and National Park Estate Act 1998.
Revokes dedication of certain land as state forest and transfers them to national park estate. The Act also makes amendments to the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 and the Hunter Water Act 1991 in relation to special areas that are within national park estate, including provision for the joint preparation and implementation of plans of management. Finally, the Act provides that the Hunter Water Corporation is the owner of all works on land within a special area that is also within national parks estate.
This Act transfers certain State forest and other Crown lands located along the east coast of New South Wales to the national parks estate and to Aboriginal ownership.
The Act provides for the revocation of land dedicated as State forest and subsequently reserves part of that land along with other Crown land under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. Certain former State forests are also vested in the Minister administering the National Parks and Wildlife Act under Part 11 of that Act. The Act creates 52 new national parks, nature reserves and state conservation areas and adds to 41 existing parks and reserves.
The Act also transfers part of the former East Boyd State forest to Eden Local Aboriginal Council under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983.
The Act also declares special management zones within certain State forests under the Forestry Act 1916.
This Act revokes dedication of certain land located in north-east New South Wales as State forest, including the areas of Wollumbin and Whian Whian. The land is then reserved as national park, nature reserve or state conservation area. The Act also declares certain land to be special management zones in State forest, under the Forestry Act 1916.
This Act transfers certain State forests and Crown lands to the national park estate. The lands transferred include areas in parts of Monga State Forest, South Brooman State Forest, and Dampier State Forest, and include additions to Deua, Monga and Murramarang National Parks and Monga State Conservation Area.
The National Park Estate (Riverina Red Gum Reservations) Act 2010 transfers to the national park estate certain river red gum State forest lands in the Riverina area. It enables the transfer to Aboriginal ownership and conservation of certain other State forest lands in the Riverina area, and contains standard adjustment provisions.
The Act permits forestry operations to continue on land remaining as State forest (which includes Koondrook-Perricoota, Campbells Island, Werai and Taroo State forests). Existing logging operations occurring in Koondrook-Perricoota, Werai and Taroo State forests are valid until an Integrated Forestry Operations Approval (IFOA) becomes the approval for logging in those State forests. The validation ceases either when the IFOA is operative over the Riverina State forests, or on 31 December 2010.
Payments can be made from the Environmental Trust Fund, established under the Environmental Trust Act 1998, for the purpose of implementing forestry restructure and assistance programs and schemes in the Riverina area. The Act enables the collection of firewood for non-commercial purposes to continue in areas as national or regional parks and also enables the making of regulations for the purposes of the Act.
The National Park Estate (South-Western Cypress Reservations) Act 2010 revokes listed State Forests and reserves them under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974, revokes listed State Forests and makes those lands subject to the Crown Lands Act 1989 and reserves listed Crown Land under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. It also revokes the part of Murramarang National Park on which Merry Beach Caravan Park is located and makes that land subject to the Crown Lands Act 1989 as well as providing an approval regime for State Forests that will continue to be harvested.
This Act transfers certain State forest and Crown lands to the national park estate by:
- Revoking the dedication of certain land as flora reserves (within State forests) and as State forest;
- Reserving that land and other Crown land as national park, nature reserve or state recreation area.
The Act also creates Crown reserves and sets apart areas of certain State forest as flora reserves. The Act has the effect of creating a continuous corridor of some 350 kilometres of reserve from Nowra to the Victorian border.
Under the National Parks and Wildlife Act, the Director-General of the NPWS is responsible for the care, control and management of all national parks, historic sites, nature reserves, reserves, Aboriginal areas and state game reserves. State conservation areas, karst conservation reserves and regional parks are also administered under the Act. You can look up the differences between these types of protected area.
The Director-General is also responsible under this legislation for the protection and care of native fauna and flora, and Aboriginal places and objects throughout NSW.
Revocation of the reservation of lands under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 can only occur by an Act of Parliament.
This Act revokes reservation of certain land as national park or nature reserve and vests the land in the Minister administering the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 or the Crown. The Minister is not to transfer certain areas of the lands for certain purposes unless the Minister has made arrangements for transfer of other land into the national parks estate as compensation for loss of land formerly reserved. The areas of land are revoked from:
- South East Forest National Park to correct error made in gazettal of roads used for commercial logging;
- Botany Bay National Park to correct boundary error and access issues related to the neighbouring golf club;
- Kosciuszko National Park to remove developments managed by Snowy Hydro Ltd;
- Lake Innes Nature Reserve for the construction of a ring road.
The Act also extends deadlines for the road provisions in the National Park Estate (Southern Region Reservations) Act 2000.
This Act makes provisions with respect to the constitution, objects and functions of the National Trust of Australia.
The principal objects of the Trust are to acquire, control, maintain, protect, and preserve for the benefit of the public generally land, buildings, works, structures, and articles of beauty or of national, historical, antiquarian, scientific, artistic, architectural, or cultural interest (including Aboriginal relics, Aboriginal rock carvings, and Aboriginal rock paintings and archaeological sites), and to protect and preserve the natural features of, and to conserve the flora and fauna on, any land acquired by or under control of the Trust.
This Act regulates the clearing of native vegetation on all land in NSW, except for excluded land listed in Schedule 1 of the Act. The Act outlines what landowners can and cannot do in clearing native vegetation.
The Act repealed the Native Vegetation Conservation Act 1997.
This Act establishes the Nature Conservation Trust, a non-government body corporate the primary function of which is to facilitate the conservation of natural heritage on private land through the negotiation and administration of conservation agreements under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974, property agreements under the (now repealed) Native Vegetation Conservation Act 1997 and Trust agreements.
Trust agreements are made under Part 3 of the Act and are entered into between the Nature Conservation Trust and landholders for the purpose of managing the land the subject of the agreement so as to protect natural heritage. A trust agreement may be registered and if registered, binds the landowner's successors.
The Act also provides that the Nature Conservation Trust is to operate a Revolving Fund Scheme under which the Nature Conservation Trust may buy or acquire land that is significant for the conservation of natural heritage, arrange for a covenant to be registered on the title to the land to protect that heritage, sell or lease the land subject to the covenant and use the proceeds for the further purchase of land that is significant for the conservation of natural heritage.
Full Text l More about air
This Act provides a broad power to make regulations to control or prohibit the production and use of:
This Act withdraws from Parramatta Park an area of land (being the site of the old Government House) to provide for the care, control and management of that land and appoints the National Trust of Australia (New South Wales) as the land's trustee.
This Act constitutes the Parramatta Park Trust, defines its functions and vests certain lands at Parramatta in the Trust.
Full Text | More about pesticides
This Act controls and regulates the use of pesticides in New South Wales.
It is an offence under the Act:
- to use a pesticide in a manner that injures or is likely to injure another person (section 10);
- to use a pesticide in a manner that damages or is likely to damage any property of another person (section 10);
- to use a pesticide in a manner that harms any non-target animal or plant, or harms any animal or plant if there is no approved label or permit for the pesticide (section 11);
- to wilfully or negligently use a pesticide in a manner that causes material harm to threatened species or protected animals (section 9);
- to possess or use an unregistered pesticide without a permit (sections 12 and 13);
- to fail to read an approved label or permit before using a registered pesticide (section 14);
- to use a registered pesticide contrary to the approved label (section 15);
- to keep registered pesticides in a container without an approved label (section 16);
- to possess or use a restricted pesticide without being authorised by a certificate of competency or a pesticide control order (section 17).
Under section 111, it is an offence to cause or permit another person to commit an offence under the Act or Regulations.
The EPA may make pesticide control orders under the Act which prohibit or control the use of pesticides, or which permit the use or possession of restricted pesticides.
The Act gives a Pesticides Implementation Committee a role in matters relating to the implementation of the Act, for eg formulating regulations, pesticide control orders and pesticide codes of practice dealing with issues such as training of pesticide users and record keeping.
The Act provides that certain pesticides may only be used by a person who has obtained a certificate of competence authorising such use. There are also provisions to regulate foodstuffs that contain prohibited residues of pesticides, and to prescribe methods of controlling the application of pesticides from aircraft (with the EPA being required to licence pilots and aircraft operators that conduct aerial spraying).
Full Text l More about the EPA
- establishes the EPA, the Board of the EPA, two community consultation forums, and the NSW Council on Environmental Education; and
- requires the EPA to make a report on the state of the environment every 3 years.
Objectives of the EPA
These are listed in section 6 of the Act. The overriding objective is to protect, restore and enhance the quality of the environment in a way that integrates economic and environmental considerations.
Control of the EPA
The EPA is a statutory body representing the Crown and is generally subject to Ministerial control, but not in relation to:
- the making of a report or recommendation to the Minister
- the release of a state of the environment report (although the Minister can require more information in the report) and
- the making of a decision to institute criminal or related proceedings.
If the Minister gives any direction or makes any determination concerning a licensing function, a report of the direction must be tabled in Parliament.
Role of the Board
determines the policies and long-term strategic plans of the EPA
- oversees the effective management of the EPA
- determines whether the EPA should consent to prosecutions for serious environmental offences and
- ensures development of prosecution guidelines which are made available to the public.
The affairs of the EPA are to be managed by the Director-General of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water in accordance with policies determined by the Board, but subject to any directions of the Minister.
Community consultation forums
There are two forums established by the Act:
- a regional forum representing the Hunter region and
- a regional forum representing the Illawarra region.
The purpose of these forums is to advise the EPA on community concerns and attitudes about environmental protection.
NSW Environmental Education Council
The Act also establishes the NSW Environmental Education Council to advise the EPA on environmental education and public awareness programs.
Full Text l More about the POEO Act
Allocation of responsibility
There is a broad allocation of responsibilities under the Act between the EPA, local councils and other public authorities. The EPA is made the regulatory authority for:
- activities listed in Schedule 1 to the Act and the premises where they are carried on;
- activities carried on by a State or public authority; and
- other activities in relation to which a licence regulating water pollution is issued.
In nearly all other cases, the regulatory authority is the relevant local council.
Protection of the Environment Policies
The Act has a scheme for the making of policy instruments called Protection of the Environment Policies (PEPs). PEPs set environmental standards, goals, guidelines or protocols. The EPA, planning authorities and any other authorities specified in a PEP must take a PEP into account when making decisions that affect the environment.
The procedure for making a PEP includes public consultation on the proposed PEP and analysis of potential impacts.
Environment protection licences
The activities listed in Schedule 1 to the Act (broadly, activities with potentially significant environmental impacts) require a licence. Licences can also be issued to regulate water pollution from activities that are not in Schedule 1. Such licences can provide protection against prosecution for water pollution if the licence conditions are complied with.
The EPA will issue all licences. Licences can control the air, noise, water and waste impacts of an activity. Licences are on-going but subject to review at least once every 5 years and can be varied, suspended or revoked.
Environment protection notices
The Act provides for the issuing of 3 types of environment protection notices: clean-up, prevention and prohibition notices.
Clean-up notices can be issued to deal with pollution incidents (eg a spill of pollutants). Prevention notices can be issued where an activity is being carried out in an environmentally unsatisfactory manner. Clean-up and prevention notices are issued by the regulatory authority for the activity or premises concerned. In emergencies, the EPA can issue a clean-up notice even though it is not the regulatory authority in the circumstances.
A prohibition notice requires an activity to be stopped and can only be issued by the Minister.
The EPA or another public authority (either voluntarily or on a direction by the EPA) can also carry out a clean up.
Environment protection offences
The Act has a three tier regime of offences.
Tier 1 offences are the most serious offences and cover certain waste disposals, leaks, spillages and other escapes, and ozone depleting emissions. Tier 1 offences can be categorised as offences requiring:
- proof of wilfulness or negligence and
- harm or likely harm to the environment.
These offences carry maximum penalties of $5 million for corporations and $1 million and/or 7 years imprisonment for individuals.
Tier 2 offences consist of all other offences under the Act and regulations, including water pollution, air pollution, land pollution and noise pollution offences. These offences are generally categorised as 'strict liability' offences ie the prosecution is not required to prove intent.
Tier 2 offences carry a maximum penalty of $1 million for corporations and $250,000 for individuals, and for continuing offences, further daily penalties of up to $120,000 and $60,000 respectively. The maximum penalty for the general littering offence is 20 penalty units ($2, 200).
The following offences were introduced by this Act:
- the emission of offensive odour from scheduled activities
- the unlawful transport of waste and
- the failure to comply with a duty to notify certain pollution incidents.
Tier 3 offences are not separate offences. They are Tier 2 matters that have been designated in the regulations as being capable of being dealt with by way of penalty notice. The amount of the penalty is set by the regulations and may not exceed the maximum penalty that can be imposed by a court for the offence.
EPA officers and the staff of certain other public authorities have been authorised to issue penalty notices. However, the EPA may direct that a penalty notice be withdrawn if it considers it appropriate to do so.
The EPA may institute proceedings for any offence under the Act or regulations. Certain other authorities such as local authorities, Water Supply Authorities, the Maritime Authority of NSW or police officers may also institute proceedings for certain offences. Any person may institute proceedings for an offence against the Act or the regulations in the Land and Environment Court if the Court grants the person leave to do so. Any person may bring proceedings in that Court for an order to remedy or restrain a breach of the Act or regulations.
The EPA Board determines whether the EPA should bring proceedings for Tier 1 offences after receiving advice from the 'Environmental Counsel'.
Proceedings for offences
Tier 1 offences may be dealt with before the Land and Environment Court or the Supreme Court. If proceedings are brought in the Land and Environment Court, the maximum period of imprisonment the court can impose is 2 years.
Proceedings for all other offences may be dealt with before a Local Court or the Land and Environment Court. If proceedings are brought in a Local Court, the maximum penalty that can be imposed is $22,000.
The Act sets out a number of orders that the Court can make where an offence is proved. For example, the Court can require the guilty party to publicise their offence or to carry out an environmental project for the public benefit.
A licence can, in some circumstances, require an environmental audit to be undertaken. The information in the audit can be taken into consideration by the authority and used for the purposes of the Act. The Act also protects documents produced for the sole purpose of a voluntary audit.
The Act provides for the appointment of authorised officers and enforcement officers to investigate compliance with environment protection legislation. There are also detailed provisions concerning the inspection and testing of vehicles, vessels and articles.
Miscellaneous features of the Act include:
- the EPA may grant exemptions from the Act;
- provision for the development and implementation of schemes involving economic measures to bring about cost-effective environmental regulation, including tradeable emission schemes;
- a requirement that regulatory authorities keep a public register containing details of all licences and notices - the public will be able to inspect and obtain copies of its contents. The EPA must also keep details of convictions in prosecutions it brings under the Act and the results in civil proceedings by or against the EPA in its public register;
- provision for the holding of inquiries into any matter relating to environment protection, at the instigation of the EPA or the Minister.
Full Text l More about radiation
This Act provides for the regulation and control of radioactive substances, radioactive sources and radiation apparatus. The Act does not apply to radioactive ore while it is being mined or treated. The Act also creates the Radiation Advisory Council. Its functions include advising the Minister on the administration of the Act and measures to prevent or minimise the dangers arising from radiation.
It is an offence under this Act to use vehicles on restricted land (ie land that is not a public road nor a recreation vehicle area) in wilful contravention of a direction given by the occupier of that land.
This Act constitutes the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust ("the Trust") and defines its powers, authorities, duties and functions and vests certain land in the Trust, referred to as Trust lands. Trust lands consist of the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Domain and the Mt Tomah Annexe to the Royal Botanic Gardens. The Trust has various powers and functions in relation to Trust lands, including the power to grant licenses, leases and easements in certain circumstances and the power to accept a lease or licence relating to certain land.
This Act provides for the conservation of soil resources and farm water resources and for the mitigation of erosion.
Full Text | More about threatened species
This is an Act to provide for the conservation of threatened species, populations and ecological communities of animals and plants (although the Act does not generally apply to fish). The Act sets out a number of specific objects relating to the conservation of biological diversity and the promotion of ecologically sustainable development.
The Act sets up a Scientific Committee, whose functions include:
- identifying and classifying (as endangered, critically endangered or vulnerable) the species, populations and ecological communities with which it is concerned, and
- identify key threatening processes that may threaten the survival of those species, populations and ecological communities.
Identified species, populations, ecological communities and key threatening processes are listed in the Schedules to the Act. Provision is made for the preparation of recovery plans for listed threatened species, populations and ecological communities and threat abatement plans to manage key threatening processes.
The Act also provides for the declaration and mapping of habitats that are critical to the survival of those identified threatened species, populations and ecological communities that are classified as endangered (critical habitats).
The Act amends other Acts to provide for the facilitation of the appropriate assessment, management and regulation of actions that may damage critical or other habitat or otherwise significantly affect threatened species, populations and ecological communities. For example the Act adds Species Impact Statement requirements to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and extends the coverage of interim protection orders and conservation agreements under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 for purposes of the conservation of threatened species, populations and ecological communities, and their habitats.
The Act inserts offences into the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 relating to harming (of listed threatened species, populations and ecological communities, being animals) and picking (of listed threatened species, populations and ecological communities, being plants), buying, selling or possessing of threatened species or populations (being animals or plants) and damaging of critical and other habitat.
Part 7A of the Act establishes the Biodiversity Banking and Offsets Scheme. The Scheme enables:
establishment of biodiversity banking sites;
creation of biodiversity credits;
trading of biodiversity credits; and
use of credits to offset development otherwise impacting on biodiversity values.
For more information see:
Full Text | More about waste
- promotes waste avoidance and resource recovery;
- repeals and replaces the Waste Minimisation and Management Act 1995;
- establishes a scheme to promote extended producer responsibility in place of industry waste reduction plans; and
- continues the Waste Fund for the purposes of funding relevant programs.
The Waste Fund is now administered by the Chief Executive of OEH. Note that Resource NSW, originally established under the Act, was abolished in 2003. Its functions are now carried out by the Chief Executive of OEH.
This Act establishes the Western Sydney Parklands and constitutes the Western Sydney Parklands Trust with functions in relation to the management of the Parklands. It also provides for the addition of land to the Parklands and for the management of the Parklands.
Under the Wilderness Act, the OEH is responsible for the investigation, protection and management of wilderness in NSW.
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Page last updated: 29 April 2013