National Environment Protection Council Act 1995 (NEPCA) mirrors corresponding legislation made by the Commonwealth and other States and Territories. This legislation collectively provides the basic framework for the development of national environmental standards in Australia.
The object of this Act (section 3) is to ensure that, by means of the establishment and operation of the National Environment Protection Council –
(a) people enjoy the benefit of equivalent protection from air, water or soil pollution and from noise, wherever they live in Australia; and
(b) decisions of the business community are not distorted, and markets are not fragmented, by variations between participating jurisdictions in relation to the adoption or implementation of major environment protection measures.”
Act is available online at the Tasmanian Legislation website.
Provisions of NEPCA include:
Fourth Review of the NEPC Acts - 2019
In February 2022, the fourth review of the NEPC Acts dated 2019 was tabled in Federal Parliament. Pursuant to section 64 of NEPCA this review must occur every 5 years. The review found there is a strong need for an Act, although in a more efficient form that encourages cooperation between jurisdictions, consistency of environmental protection across Australia, and provides certainty for business in terms of operation and administration. Any legislative changes will undergo consultation and the report is being considered on a nationwide basis.