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Environmental approvals

Environmental approvals or licences are required under various legislation including, the Environmental Protection Act 1994, the Water Act 2000, the Marine Parks Act 2004 and the Nature Conservation Act 1992.

Please note disclaimer at bottom of page.

Further information

Boondal Wetlands Photo by EHP

Quick facts

Wetlands

of high ecological significance are protected by the State Planning Policy. It supports the Environmental Protection Act and related policies and plans established under other legislation, including the: Vegetation Management; Water, Fisheries; Coastal Protection and Management; Nature Conservation; Sustainable Planning.

impact assessable State development assessment self-assessable

Environmentally Relevant Activities
The aim of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 is to protect Queensland's environment while allowing for development that improves the total quality of life, now and in the future, in a way that maintains ecological processes on which life depends. This approach is termed 'ecologically sustainable development'.

Mechanism and recognition of wetland and terrestrial biodiversity values

An environmental authority is required to carry out an environmentally relevant activity (ERA), either a prescribed ERA or a resource activity including mining. ERAs are industrial or intensive agricultural activities with the potential to release contaminants to the environment. The environmental authority (EA) application process recognises different levels of assessment according to the level of potential environmental risk. Eligibility criteria and standard conditions have been developed for certain EA applications including restrictions on relevant activities in or adjacent to a wetland or watercourse and environmentally sensitive areas. Conditions for wetlands are included in stream-lined model conditions for petroleum activities, developed with industry partners.

Resources

Water Quality
The aim of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 is to protect Queensland's environment while allowing for development that improves the total quality of life, now and in the future, in a way that maintains ecological processes on which life depends. This approach is termed 'ecologically sustainable development'.

Mechanism and recognition of wetland values

The Environmental Protection Policy (Water) establishes environmental values (EVs) for waters and water quality objectives (WQO) for receiving waters. These must be considered in assessing applications for environmental authorities, possible environmental harm and local government development assessment decisions. Waters are classified into broad types that include wetlands. Development, particularly those not connected to municipal sewerage systems, that discharge waste water to waterways can mobilise contaminants that affect water environmental values. Environmental values (EVs) for receiving waters include aquatic ecosystem protection and human use values. More information on the process of establishing EVs for water and WQO is included under Regulatory Planning—Water Quality.

Resources

  • Information on the Environmental Protection Policy (Water)
  • Fact Sheet on how EVs and WQOs link to decision-making
Riverine Protection
The Water Act 2000 provides a legislative basis for the sustainable planning and management of the State’s water resources.

Mechanism and recognition of wetland values

Under the Act a riverine protection permit may be required to excavate or place fill within a watercourse, lake or spring. The definition of a lake includes a swamp. These activities could require other approvals such as the owner’s consent and vegetation clearing. Certain activities are exempt from having to apply for and obtain a riverine protection permit and minimum requirements are specified to be eligible for an exemption.

Resources

  • Information on riverine protection permits including exemption requirements
State Marine Parks
The aim of the Marine Parks Act 2004 is to provide for the conservation of the marine environment.

Mechanism and recognition of wetland values

The State Marine Park Zoning Plan will specify whether a State marine park permit is required to enter or use the zone for an activity. Permits are assessed against criteria in the Marine Parks Regulation 2006. There is a joint permit assessment process administered by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) in consultation with the State in the case of permits for activities that involve both the Commonwealth Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the State Great Barrier Reef Coastal Marine Park.

Resources

  • Information on permits for (state only) Marine Parks.
Protected Plants
The aim of the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NC Act) is the conservation of nature to be achieved through an integrated and comprehensive conservation strategy for the whole of the State and that involves among other things, the declaration and management of protected areas and the protection of native wildlife and its habitat. In Queensland all plants that are native to Australia are protected plants under the Act.

Mechanism and recognition of wetland and terrestrial biodiversity values

A licence, permit or authority may be required to take and use restricted protected plants. A restricted plant is a native plant listed as special least concern, near threatened, vulnerable or endangered under the Nature Conservation Act 1992. Approvals issued in accordance with the Nature Conservation Regulation 2006 include a protected plant clearing permit, a protected plant harvesting license and a protected plant growing license.

Resources

Disclaimer: While every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of this information, the Queensland and Australian Governments make no representations or warranties about its accuracy, reliability, completeness or suitability for any particular purpose and disclaim all responsibility and all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages (including indirect or consequential damage) and costs which might be incurred as a consequence of reliance on the product, or as a result of the product being inaccurate or incomplete in any way and for any reason.


Last updated: 12 March 2015

This page should be cited as:

Environmental approvals, WetlandInfo 2014, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Queensland, viewed 1 February 2017, <https://wetlandinfo.ehp.qld.gov.au/wetlands/management/policy-legislation/plan-approval/enviro-licence.html>.

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Heritage Protection