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Environmental policy and legislation

The Environmental Protection Act 1994 (PDF) (EP Act) is a key element of Queensland’s environmental legal system. Its objective is to protect Queensland’s environment while allowing for development that improves the total quality of life, both now and in the future, in a way that maintains ecological processes (ecologically sustainable development).

The EP Act and its subordinate legislation provides a range of tools to ensure this objective is met. These tools range from providing for a licensing system for environmentally relevant activities (ERAs) (called an environmental authority) through to response tools such as environmental protection orders.

Regulations and policies under the EP Act

The following subordinate legislation supports the operation of the EP Act:

  • Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 (PDF)—prescribes the detail for the processes contained in the Act. For example, this regulation contains the list of ‘prescribed ERAs’ which are regulated under the EP Act and prescribes the fees to be paid, such as application fees and annual fees for ERAs.
  • Environmental Protection (Air) Policy 2008 (PDF)—The purpose of this policy is to achieve the object of the Act in relation to the air environment by:
    • identifying environmental values to be enhanced or protected
    • stating indicators and air quality objectives for enhancing or protecting the environmental values
    • providing a framework for making consistent, equitable and informed decisions about the air environment.
  • Environmental Protection (Noise) Policy 2008 (PDF)—The purpose of this policy is to achieve the object of the Act in relation to the acoustic environment by:
    • identifying environmental values to be enhanced or protected
    • stating acoustic quality objectives for enhancing or protecting the environmental values
    • providing a framework for making consistent, equitable and informed decisions about the acoustic environment.
  • Environmental Protection (Water) Policy 2009 (PDF)—The purpose of this policy is to achieve the object of the Act in relation to Queensland waters by:
    • identifying environmental values and management goals for Queensland waters
    • stating water quality guidelines and water quality objectives to enhance or protect the environmental values
    • providing a framework for making consistent, equitable and informed decisions about Queensland waters
    • monitoring and reporting on the condition of Queensland waters.
Last updated
17 October 2016