This compilation was prepared on 25 February 2000
taking into account amendments up to Act No. 146 of 1999
The text of any of those amendments not in force
on that date is appended in the Notes section
[Note: This Act is to be repealed by No. 92 of 1999]
Prepared by the Office of Legislative Drafting,
Attorney-General's Department, Canberra
ENDANGERED SPECIES PROTECTION ACT 1992
An Act providing for the conservation and management of species
- SECT 1
This Act may be cited as the Endangered Species Protection
- SECT 2
the period of 9 months commencing on the day on which this
Act receives the Royal Assent, it commences on the first
day after the end of that period.
- SECT 3
Objects of Act
The objects of this Act are to:
promote the recovery of species and ecological
communities that are endangered or vulnerable; and
becoming endangered; and
reduce conflict in land management through readily
species and ecological communities that are
endangered or vulnerable; and
understanding of, the conservation of such species
and ecological communities; and
conservation of such species and ecological
communities and threatening processes (see Part 2);
adopted, in particular:
preparing and implementing recovery plans and
making interim conservation orders, permanent
conservation orders and impact assessment
conservation orders (see Part 5); and
imposes obligations on persons (particularly
ecological communities or threatening processes being
listed, or protective measures being adopted (see
Part 6); and
confers powers for the administration and enforcement
and the Endangered Species Scientific Subcommittee
(see Part 8).
- SECT 4
Advisory Committee means the Endangered Species Advisory
Committee established under section 137.
ANPWS means the Australian National Parks and Wildlife
Service established by section 33 of the National Parks
and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975.
Australia includes the external Territories.
Australian fishing zone has the same meaning as in the
Fisheries Management Act 1991.
business day means a day that is not:
a Saturday or a Sunday; or
a public holiday or bank holiday in the place
Chairperson, except in section 161, means the Chairperson of
the Advisory Committee.
coastal sea has the meaning given in subsection 15B(4)
of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.
Commonwealth agency means:
a Minister; or
a Department; or
a body (whether incorporated or unincorporated)
a body established or appointed by the
or under a law of the Commonwealth; or
a company in which the whole of the shares or stock,
voting power, is or are owned by or on behalf of the
application or previous applications of this
paragraph, is taken to be a Commonwealth agency
for the purposes of this definition; or
a person holding, or performing the duties of, an
made under, a law of the Commonwealth, other than:
a person who, by virtue of holding that office,
appointment made by the Governor-General, or by a
Minister, otherwise than under a law of the
but does not include:
Territory or the Administration of Norfolk Island; or
a person holding an office established by or under
made under any of them:
the Northern Territory (Self-Government) Act
(Self-Government) Act 1988; or
any of the following:
an Aboriginal Land Trust, or an Aboriginal Land
Council, established under the Aboriginal Land
Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976;
an Aboriginal corporation within the meaning of
the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council
established under the Aboriginal Land Grant
(Jervis Bay Territory) Act 1986.
Commonwealth area has the meaning given in section 5.
conservation agreement means an agreement entered into
under section 51.
continental shelf of Australia has the same meaning as
in the Seas and Submerged Lands Act 1973.
daily newspaper means a newspaper that is ordinarily
published on each day that is a business day in the place
where the newspaper is published, whether or not the
newspaper is ordinarily published on other days.
Department means an Agency (within the meaning of the
Public Service Act 1999).
Director means the Director of National Parks and
ecological community means an assemblage of native
regulations (if any) made for the purposes of this
endangered has the meaning given in section 6.
governmental approval means an approval, permission,
authorisation, licence, recommendation or other similar
decision that is or may be given or made by a Commonwealth
habitat means an area:
in which an organism, or a group of organisms, lives;
lived and into which the organism or group has the
potential to be reintroduced.
impact assessment conservation order means an impact assessment
conservation order made under section 79.
interest, in relation to a Commonwealth area, has the
meaning given in section 9.
interim conservation order means an interim conservation
order made under section 57.
key threatening process means a threatening process
specified in Schedule 3.
list means a list set out in Schedule 1, 2 or 3 and
includes such a list containing no items.
listed ecological community means an ecological
community specified in Schedule 2.
listed native species means a species specified in
native species means a species:
that is indigenous to Australia; or
that is indigenous to the Australian coastal sea or
to the seabed or subsoil beneath that sea; or
that is indigenous to the Australian fishing zone; or
members of which periodically or occasionally visit:
the Australian coastal sea; or
the Australian fishing zone; or
that was present in Australia before 1400.
non-native species means a species that is not a native
conservation order made under section 68.
permit means a permit issued under section 89.
a body politic or corporate as well as an individual;
Commonwealth agency has the capacity to sue and be
sued in its own name.
plan means a recovery plan or a threat abatement plan.
presumed extinct has the meaning given in section 8.
principles of ecologically sustainable development
means, if the regulations specify principles for the
purpose of this definition, the principles so specified.
recovery plan means a plan of a kind referred to in
section 31 that has been:
prepared under Division 2 of Part 3; or
adopted by the Minister under section 46.
Scientific Subcommittee means the Endangered Species Scientific
Subcommittee established by section 158.
Secretary means an Agency Head (within the meaning of
the Public Service Act 1999).
species means a group of biological entities that:
being a distinct population that the Minister
determines in writing to be a species for the
purposes of this definition.
Note: Determinations under paragraph (d) are disallowable
instruments (see section 10).
staff member, in relation to the ANPWS, means a person who is
one of the persons who constitute the ANPWS within the
meaning of section 34 of the National Parks and Wildlife
Conservation Act 1975.
State agency means:
established for a public purpose by a law of a State;
State, or by a Minister of a State, otherwise than by
or under a law of the State; or
or shares or stock carrying more than one-half of the
voting power, is or are owned by or on behalf of a
a body corporate that is a subsidiary of:
a body referred to in paragraph (c), (d) or (e);
paragraph, is taken to be a State agency for the
purposes of this definition; or
made under, a law of a State, other than a person
who, by virtue of holding that office, is the
Secretary (by whatever name called) of a Department
of a State; or
appointment made by the Governor of a State, or by a
Minister of a State, otherwise than under a law of
but does not include a court or a tribunal.
subsidiary has the meaning given in subsection (2).
sub-species means a geographically separate population
of a species, being a population that is characterised by
morphological or biological differences from other
populations of that species.
this Act includes the regulations.
threat abatement plan means a plan of a kind referred to
in section 33 that has been:
threatening process means a process that threatens, or may
threaten, the survival, abundance or evolutionary
development of a native species or ecological community.
vulnerable has the meaning given in section 7.
Note: Section 118 contains further definitions of words and
expressions used in Division 2 of Part 7.
an authority or body is to be determined in the same way
as the question whether a body corporate is a subsidiary
of another body corporate is determined for the purposes
of the Corporations Law.
contravention of, this Act includes a reference to an
offence against, or a contravention of, section 6, 7 or
7A, or subsection 86(1), of the Crimes Act 1914 that
relates to this Act.
offence includes a reference to making an order under
section 19B of the Crimes Act 1914 in relation to the
person in respect of the offence.
- SECT 5
For the purposes of this Act, any of the following areas,
subject to subsection (2), an area of land owned, or
held under lease, (including land owned or held under
lease in Norfolk Island) by the Commonwealth or a
the Jervis Bay Territory;
subject to subsection (3), the coastal sea;
the seabed of, and the waters above, the continental
a park or a reserve under section 7 of the National
Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975.
Territory Land within the meaning of the Australian
Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988
is not taken to be a Commonwealth area merely because of
the application of that paragraph, unless it is held under
lease by the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth agency.
Despite paragraph (1)(c), the following areas, and any
by virtue of that paragraph:
any area of the seabed, and any of the space
seabed, vested in a State under section 4 of the
Coastal Waters (State Title) Act 1980;
(including space occupied by water) above that
seabed, vested in the Northern Territory under
section 4 of the Coastal Waters (Northern Territory
Title) Act 1980.
- SECT 6
circumstances and factors threatening its abundance,
survival or evolutionary development cease to
its numbers have been reduced to such a critical
reduced, that it is in immediate danger of
In addition to subsection (1), a species may be regarded
as endangered for the purposes of this Act if the Minister
is satisfied that:
it so closely resembles in appearance, at any stage
referred to in subsection (1) that it is difficult to
differentiate between the 2 species; and
last-mentioned species; and
it would substantially promote the objects of this
For the purposes of this Act, an ecological community is
circumstances and factors threatening its extent,
it might already be extinct.
For the purposes of this Act, a species is vulnerable at a
is likely to become endangered unless the circumstances
and factors threatening its abundance, survival or
evolutionary development cease to operate.
- SECT 8
Species that are presumed extinct
A species is presumed extinct at a particular time if:
the preceding 50 years; or
it has not been definitely located in nature during
during that period.
- SECT 9
Interests in Commonwealth areas
Unless the contrary intention appears, a person is taken, for the
purposes of this Act, to have an interest in a
Commonwealth area if the person, whether alone or with
occupies or is in possession of; or
has the management or control of; or
has, as a result of holding a licence, permit or
authorisation (by whatever name called), a right to
carry on a commercial activity in;
the Commonwealth area.
- SECT 10
Disallowance of certain intruments
A determination made by the Minister for the purposes of
paragraph (d) of the definition of species in subsection
4(1) is a disallowable instrument for the purposes of
section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.
- SECT 11
Certain Territories regarded as States
For the purposes of this Act (except section 13), the Australian
Capital Territory, the Northern Territory and Norfolk
Island are to be regarded as States and are not to be
regarded as Territories.
- SECT 12
Act to bind Crown
for an offence.
- SECT 13
This Act extends to each external Territory.
Part 2; Listing
- SECT 14
Outline of this Part
ecological communities and threatening processes with
which this Act is concerned.
of native species, ecological communities and key
may amend the lists.
Division 3 describes how the lists are to be made public.
- SECT 15
Lists of native species
that are endangered.
Part 2 of Schedule 1 contains a list of native species
that are presumed extinct.
Note: Section 87 imposes obligations relating to listed native
Lists of ecological communities
Schedule 2 contains a list of ecological communities that are
- SECT 17
List of key threatening processes
Schedule 3 contains a list of threatening processes that are key
Division 2;The listing process
- SECT 18
Minister may amend lists
in writing published in the Gazette, and in a daily
newspaper circulating in each State, amend any of the
including items in the list; or
deleting items from the list.
Such instruments are disallowable instruments for the
Despite section 48 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901
as it applies in relation to such instruments because of
section 46A of that Act, amendments of a list that delete
items from the list take effect on the first day on which
they are no longer liable to be disallowed, or to be taken
to have been disallowed, under section 48 of that Act as
it so applies.
- SECT 19
Reasons for amendments of lists
An instrument must state that application may be made, in
why one or more items specified in the application were
included in, or deleted from, one or more lists by the
The Director must provide, at reasonable cost, such a
application, or the person on whose behalf the application
- SECT 20
Native species etc. that are endangered
unless the Minister is satisfied that the species or community is
unless the Minister is satisfied that the species or community is no
Note: Endangered is defined in section 6.
- SECT 21
Native species that are vulnerable
The Minister must not add a native species to Part 2 of
species is vulnerable.
The Minister must not delete a native species from Part 2
species is no longer vulnerable.
Note: Vulnerable is defined in section 7.
- SECT 22
Native species that are presumed extinct
Schedule 1 unless the Minister is satisfied that the
species is presumed extinct.
of Schedule 1 unless the Minister is satisfied that the
species is no longer presumed extinct.
Note: Presumed extinct is defined in section 8.
- SECT 23
Key threatening processes
The Minister must not add a threatening process to
eligible to be treated as a key threatening process.
The Minister must not delete a threatening process from
longer eligible to be treated as a key threatening
eligible to be treated as a key threatening process if:
adversely affects 2 or more listed native
species or 2 or more listed ecological
could cause native species or ecological
the preparation and implementation of a nationally
effective and efficient way to abate the process.
Before deciding whether a theatening process is eligible
must take reasonable steps to consult, with Commonwealth
agencies that would be affected by or interested in
abatement of the process, on the feasibility,
effectiveness or efficiency of preparing and implementing
a nationally co-ordinated threat abatement plan to abate
- SECT 24
Minister must consider advice from Scientific
Subject to section 26, the Minister must not add an item
considered advice from the Scientific Subcommittee on the
addition or deletion of the item.
from, a list; and
if the Minister decides to add or delete the
published in the Gazette;
within 90 days after receiving the Scientific Subcommittee's advice on
the addition or deletion of the item.
A member of the Scientific Subcommittee has a duty not to
information relating to the advice, before the end of that
period of 90 days unless the disclosure:
if an instrument is published in the Gazette
advice relates;occurred after the publication.
- SECT 25
Public may nominate native species etc.
Any person may nominate an item to be listed in Schedules
any information prescribed by regulation.
The Director must forward all nominations to the
- SECT 26
Rediscovery of native species that were presumed extinct
that is specified in Part 3 of Schedule 1 has been
definitely located in nature since it was last listed as
presumed extinct, the Minister may, under section 18:
amend Part 3 of Schedule 1 by deleting the species
amend the appropriate list by adding the species to it;
without considering advice from the Scientific Subcommittee.
such amendments after having considered advice from the
- SECT 27
Minister only to consider nature conservation matters
from, a list in Schedule 1, the Minister must not consider
any matters that do not relate to the survival of the
native species concerned.
In deciding whether to add an item to, or delete an item
matters that do not relate to the survival of the
ecological community concerned.
- SECT 28
Species posing a serious threat to human health
serious threat to human health, the Minister may, by
instrument published in the Gazette, determine that the
species is not appropriate for listing under this Part.
While the determination is in force, the species is not to
purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act
Division 3; Publication of
Director to make lists available to the public
The Director must take all reasonable steps to ensure that
up-to-date consolidated versions of each of the lists are
available for purchase, for a reasonable price, at: