• Environmental Planning

Government adds 49 Species to EPBC Act Threatened and Endangered List

The Australian Federal Government added 49 species of flora and fauna to the EPBC Act list of threatened and endangered species, including 9 species that are now listed as critically endangered, in its 5 May 2016 listing event. The list of endangered species was first set up 15 years ago under the EPBC Act and this month’s listing event of an additional 49 species represents a 20 per cent increase on last year – the largest single year rise since 2009.

To view an up to date list of all species of flora and fauna that are protected under the EPBC Act follow the link below:

http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-tmp/publiclistchanges.17a4572b13bc386e313d.html

A new species listing that may be of particular interest to greenfield development in South East Queensland is that of the Greater Glider (Petauroides volans). The Greater Glider is now listed as Vulnerable under the EPBC Act, has a relatively broad geographic distribution (occurring down the east coast from northern Queensland into New South Wales and Victoria) and feeds almost exclusively on eucalyptus leaves. Further, Greater Glider is known to occur in a range of woodland and forest habitat types. Similar to the listing of koala populations as Vulnerable under the EPBC Act, the listing of Greater Glider has the potential to trigger EPBC Act referral requirements for a range of development proposals.

We note that a listing event generally does not have an impact on an action that was authorised prior to the listing event. In addition, a listing event does not impact actions that were deemed either a ‘controlled action’ or ‘not a controlled action’ prior to the listing event. Generally, it is actions that had not been referred under the EPBC Act (prior to the listing event) that a listing event may impact.

EPBC Act Policy Statement – Listing Events under the EPBC Act provides further detail around how a listing event impacts an action (see link below):

http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/474d03f3-8340-4566-80f8-c617c38a206b/files/epbc-act-policy-listing-events.pdf

New Ground has a range of experience in determining whether an EPBC Act referral is necessary, coordinating the EPBC Act referral process as well as the provision of time and cost effective environmental offset solutions. If you have any queries relating to how these changes to the EPBC Act may affect your current or planned project, feel free to call Nelson Wills to discuss further nwills@newground.com.au or 07 5575 7308.

This blog is intended as a general overview at the time of writing and should not be construed as project or situation-specific advice.

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