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Changes to the EPBC Act referral process

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On 28 August 2019 I attended the EPBC Act review consultation workshop with the Department of the Environment and Energy (the Department). I participated as a representative of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ) in my role as deputy chair of the Ecology Special Interest Section Committee. The workshop focused on initiatives to streamline regulation, the process for the upcoming EPBC Act statutory review, a feedback session to guide future post-approval reforms, the Department’s stakeholder engagement project and environmental offset implementation project.

In line with the Department’s mandate to streamline the EPBC Act assessment process are changes to the referral application process. The Department has implemented changes to the EPBC Act online referral form. Such revisions include improved usability, clearer instruction on character limits within each section and provision of more options when adding in the location of the project proposal.

The new EPBC Act referral form will be available from Thursday, 24 October. If you are currently working on a draft referral you can either start a new one to access the new features, or continue with your current referral in the old format. All draft referrals created in the old format will need to be submitted by Friday, 24 January 2020.

Contact the referrals gateway by email epbc.referrals@environment.gov.au, or by telephone on 02 6274 2496 for assistance with the new lodgement process.


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