How to request a Statement of Reasons under the EPBC Act

This information is for all those people concerned and affected by certain decisions made by the Australian Minister for the Environment or his Department.

The design of the EPBC Act is to provide an environmental impact assessment process which allows for public consultation which is transparent to all stakeholders and interested persons. This means that at certain steps of the process where a decision has been made, persons can… request information from the Department of the Environment regarding that particular decision. This information is obtained by formally requesting a Statement of Reasons under Section 13 of the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 from the following e-mail address: epbc.referrals@environment.gov.au.

Any request should include a statement as to why the person is aggrieved in accordance with Section 487 of the EPBC Act. The EPBC Act has a broad definition of aggrieved persons and as such pretty much any person would be able to request a decision under the Act. Once the Department has received this request within 28 days of a decision, a Statement of Reasons is required to be prepared and given to the person within 28 days. The Department has produced a Policy Statement which outlines the decisions where a Statement of Reasons can be requested from the Department/Minister. This Policy Statement is at: http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/98c097c0-0325-4e3e-b203-685b84142ec2/files/epbc-act-policy-statements-reasons.docx or click here

Requesting Statements of Reasons is a simple process that is rarely used but would be an important mechanism for obtaining information by the general public or conservation groups. I would encourage all those that are concerned by any decision made by the current Minister and the Department to request formal statements outlining the reasons for particular decisions under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act.