Although not listed specifically, the Hammerhead Crane is part of the broader Commonwealth Heritage Listing for the Garden Island Precinct, Sydney. Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), if the Commonwealth undertakes an action that has, will have or is likely to have a significant impact on the environment, it must be referred to the Department of the Environment (the then Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities).
Consequently, in 2012 the Department of Defence sought approval under the Environment Protection Biodiversity and Conservation Act to remove the crane from Garden Island. During the public consultation period on its removal some 65 submissions were received. While 30 submissions expressed support for its removal, some 35 submissions were critical of its removal.
On 17 July 2013, the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPAC) approved the removal of the crane subject to a range of heritage protection conditions.