National Parks and Wildlife Amendment Act 2010

The Amendment Act

What parts of the Act commenced on 2 July 2010?
What parts of the Act commenced on 1 October 2010?
How can I get more information about the Amendment Act?

The Amendment Regulations

What regulations commenced on 2 July 2010?
What regulations commenced on 1 October 2010?
The due diligence codes of practice

Further information

Broader Reform
Consultation that occurred on the Draft Bill

The Amendment Act

The Act to amend the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NPW Act) and the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, the key pieces of environmental conservation legislation administered by OEH, was assented to on 15 June 2010.

The National Parks and Wildlife Amendment Act 2010 had a two stage commencement by proclamation. The first stage commenced on 2 July 2010 and the second stage commenced on 1 October 2010.

What parts of the Act commenced on 2 July 2010?

The provisions which commenced on 2 July 2010 include:

  • changes to park management provisions
  • changes to the procedures of Part 4A National Park Co-Management Boards
  • changes to threatened species provisions
  • changes to wildlife management and licensing, including kangaroo management
  • introduction of remediation directions for breaches of the NPW Act (except in relation to harm to Aboriginal objects and places)
  • changes to prosecution and evidentiary provisions and civil enforcement provisions, and
  • changes to authorised officer powers.

What parts of the Act commenced on 1 October 2010?

The remaining provisions commenced on 1 October 2010 and these include:

  • introduction of the new Aboriginal cultural heritage offences, penalties and permit system in Part 6 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974
  • introduction of remediation directions in relation to harm to Aboriginal objects and places (s.91L), and
  • provisions about the Aboriginal Heritage Information Management System.

How can I get more information about the Amendment Act?

The fact sheets listed below explain the changes that have been made:

If you have any further queries about the changes that have been made by the Amendment Act you can email your questions  to npw.act2010@environment.nsw.gov.au

The Amendment Regulations

What regulations commenced on 2 July 2010?

A regulation amending the National Parks and Wildlife Regulation 2009 commenced on 2 July 2010. The National Parks and Wildlife Amendment Regulation 2010 makes consequential amendments as a result of changes made by the Act. It also introduces two new penalty notice amounts for a newly created offence created by the Amending Act. The first offence is the contravention of a remediation direction and the penalty amount will be $1650 for individuals and $3300 for a corporation. The second is the sale of untagged protected native plants and the penalty notice amount will be $300.

The Act includes a regulation making power to enable an increase to the maximum penalties that can be imposed by a court for offences under the Threatened Species Conservation Regulation 2010. The maximum penalty has been increased from $5,500 to $22,000. The Threatened Species Conservation Amendment Regulation 2010 implemented these amendments on 2 July 2010. This provision is now part of the Threatened Species Conservation Regulation 2010.

What Regulations commenced on 1 October 2010?

Further amendments to the National Parks and Wildlife Regulation 2009 commenced at the same time as the remaining provisions of the Act on 1 October 2010. These amendments were made by the National Parks and Wildlife Amendment (Aboriginal Objects and Aboriginal Places) Regulation 2010.

This Regulation:

  • excludes activities carried out in accordance with the Code of Practice for Archaeological Investigation in NSW from the definition of harm in the Act
  • adopts Due Diligence Codes of Practice
  • sets out which activities are low impact and therefore have a  defence to the strict liability offence of harming an Aboriginal objects
  • specifies community consultation requirements, which are based on the current Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Consultation Requirements for Proponents policy
  • lists penalty notice amounts for Aboriginal cultural heritage offences, and
  • includes transitional provisions arising from the Amendment Act and the National Parks and Wildlife Amendment (Visitors and Tourists) Act 2010 which also commence on 1 October 2010.

The due diligence codes of practice

The generic Due Diligence Code of Practice for the Protection of Aboriginal Objects in NSW relating to the strict liability offence of harming Aboriginal objects has been developed. This will be adopted by the National Parks and Wildlife Regulation 2009.

The generic code of practice can be used by individuals or organisations who are contemplating undertaking activities which could harm Aboriginal objects. This code will provide a process whereby a reasonable determination can be made as to whether or not Aboriginal objects will be harmed by an activity, whether further investigation is warranted and whether the activity requires an AHIP application.

Other industry specific codes of practice were adopted by the Regulation. These are:

The generic due diligence code of practice and the industry specific codes of practice must meet minimum standards which have been set by the Director General. These standards were published in the Government Gazette on 10 September 2010. (The Plantations and Reafforestation Code and the Private Native Forestry Code of Practice are existing statutory codes and currently do not need to meet these minimum standards.)

Frequently asked questions

These frequently asked questions (PDF 193KB) are based on questions that have been asked during the development of the legislation and at the information sessions. The questions and answers will be updated regularly as the provisions are implemented.  

Better Regulation Statement

The NSW Government requires the preparation of a Better Regulation Statement for substantial pieces of legislation. The Better Regulation Statement (PDF 240KB) includes information on the costs and benefits of the legislation and details about the comnsultation undertaken on the development of the provisions. 

Broader reform

The Government has announced a review of the existing Aboriginal cultural heritage legislation within NSW. A working party will be established to undertake this review over a two year period. It is envisaged that new stand alone legislation to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage will be developed. Further information on this review process will be posted on this website in the near future.

Consultation that occurred on the draft Bill

From April to June 2009 the then Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) consulted with a number of Aboriginal and peak stakeholder groups prior to the Bill's introduction into Parliament, including:

  • Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee
  • Co-managed national parks' Boards of Management and Local Aboriginal Land Councils that are parties to Part 4A leases
  • Committees established under registered Indigenous Land Use Agreements that apply to lands administered under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974
  • Committees established in accordance with Memoranda of Understanding with Aboriginal communities in relation to lands administered under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974
  • Environmental Defender's Office
  • June 2009 meeting of the Chairs of all Boards and Committees for joint managed parks
  • Local Government and Shires Association
  • National Parks Association
  • Nature Conservation Council
  • NSW Aboriginal Land Council
  • NSW Farmers
  • NSW Minerals Council
  • NTSCORP (formerly NSW Native Title Services)
  • Property Council of Australia
  • Urban Development Institute of Australia
  • Urban Taskforce.

All submissions were reviewed and considered, and where appropriate, amendments were made to the Bill. The response to each submission (PDF 124KB) was tabulated for easy viewing.

Set out below are copies of each of the written submissions received:

In addition to the above submissions, feedback received from jointly managed national parks' Boards of Management, Local Aboriginal Land Councils that are parties to Part 4A leases, committees established under registered Indigenous Land Use Agreements that apply to lands administered under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974, and Committees established in accordance with Memoranda of Understanding with Aboriginal communities in relation to lands administered under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 were considered.

Responses to these submissions (PDF124KB) are included in the table of responses.

The quality and range of comments provided in these submissions is appreciated, and thanks to all submitters for their time and effort in providing feedback .

Page last updated: 13 November 2015