Defence activities occur in the context of a framework of Commonwealth and State environmental legislation, regulations, policies and guidelines. The Legal Obligations and Compliance Registers (LOCRs) outline the principal environmental obligations in place throughout the Commonwealth, States and Territories of Australia.
The LOCRs are designed to provide both guidance on environmental legal obligations and as a tool to manage compliance to these obligations. Non-compliance with legal obligations can have significant consequences for Defence in terms of penalties, audits and investigation, as well as reputation, environmental consequences and capability.
The legal obligations as stated are general and are not intended to be taken as complete legal advice. While the LOCRs provide an overview of the relevant legislation, the registers should not be relied upon as a pre-eminent source of legal advice advice in the first instance, particularly in relation to obtaining permits, should be sought from your Senior Environmental Manager (SEM), Regional Environmental Officer (REO) or the relevant policy owner in Environment and Engineering (EE) Branch.
The EPBC Act is the primary Commonwealth legislation directed at protecting the environment in relation to Commonwealth land or actions, and controlling significant impacts on the environment.
A Defence action that has, will have or is likely to have a significant impact on the environment, or on a matter of national environmental significance, must be referred to the Commonwealth Environment Minister to determine whether approval is required. This obligation applies unless an express exemption is granted.
Defence has standard processes for determining whether a Defence action has, will have or is likely to have a significant impact on the environment. The Environment Impact Assessment process should be applied to all Defence actions and projects.
Referrals made by Defence under the EPBC Act can be viewed at the Department of Environment website.
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