Information for Contaminated Land Auditors

​​​​​​​What is the Register​​ of Contaminated Land Auditors? ​

The Register of Contaminated Land Auditors (hereafter referred to as “the Register") is a listing of persons qualified to perform contaminated land audits in Tasmania. Such persons are accredited under interstate legislation, and have successfully applied to the EPA Director (hereafter referred to as “the Director") to be included on the Register.

The purpose of the Register is to specify which persons are suitable to act as:

  1. A person approved by the Director for the purpose of this code as detailed in the Potentially Contaminated Land Code.  Such persons are able to certify that land is suitable for the intended use or to approve a plan to manage contamination and associated risk.

  2. A person able to provide a certification under section 39F(1) of the Macquarie Point Development Corporation Act 2012.

A Contaminated Land Audit may also be conducted voluntarily for due diligence purposes or be required under a regulatory instrument (i.e. an Environment Protection Notice or a Notice served under Part 5A of EMPCA). Such Auditors do not need to be represented on the Register and the requirements for their accreditation will be specified in the regulatory instrument.

Who is placed on the Register and how?

The Director determines the requirements for inclusion on the Register. 

Principally an applicant must be accredited as a contaminated land auditor under one of the following:

  • New South Wales – the site auditor scheme administered by the Environment Protection Authority under Part 4 of the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997.

  • South Australia – the statutory audit system established in the Environment Protection Act 1993 and the Environment Protection Regulations 2009.

  • Victoria – the statutory appointment of environmental auditors established under the Environment Protection Act 2017.

  • Western Australia – Contaminated sites auditors accredited under the Contaminated Sites Act 2003.

  • Queensland – Contaminated Land Auditors established under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 and the code of professional conduct.

Contaminated land auditors are highly experienced consultants accredited under legislation listed above, who can provide competent technical advice and increased certainty in regard to the 'sign-off' of contaminated site assessments and remediation. Clients can engage an auditor to independently review a consultant's reports on assessment, remediation, and validation work to ensure that the consultant's methodology and interpretation of data are consistent with current regulations and EPA-endorsed guidelines.

An auditor wishing to apply for inclusion on the Register should send their request to the Director and specify the details of their current accreditation including any disciplinary action they may be subject to.  EPA requests that only auditors prepared to undertake work in Tasmania apply.

What is a contaminated land audit and a Contaminated Land Audit Report?

A contaminated land audit is a formal evaluation of the environmental condition of a described site (generally one or more Land Titles) in terms of risks to human health and/or the environment associated with the presence of soil or groundwater contamination.  Accredited site auditors base this formal evaluation on environmental consultant's reports on assessment, remediation and validation actions.  Auditors ensure that the methodology used by consultants and their interpretation of data are consistent with current EPA regulations and guidelines.

Each jurisdiction may use different terminology in regard to this audit process, but technical requirements are generally consistent. The conduct of a contaminated land audit will result in a Contaminated Land Audit Report. Such a report comprises an unambiguous determination, written and signed by the registered auditor, which describes the suitability of the site for specific uses. Where appropriate, the Contaminated Land Audit Report will describe any management conditions that must be applied to ensure ongoing suitability for certain site uses, and any uses for which the site is unsuitable.

As part of the auditing process an auditor may, as appropriate, provide written endorsement of plans for remediation and/or management of sites, prior to the final determination of site suitability. Such endorsements may provide greater certainty for stakeholders in relation to the likely requirements for, and outcomes of, on-site works. However, auditors cannot guarantee remediation outcomes, and will only be able to provide formal determination of site suitability for specified uses in a final Contaminated Land Audit Report once remediation and validation are completed, and it is confirmed that no additional remediation is necessary for the proposed uses. Where a site is not remediated such that it is suitable for the proposed uses, but a formal Audit Report is nonetheless required, an auditor may complete a Contaminated Land Audit Report that describes the issues that prevent the use of the site until remediated, and a general description of the anticipated remediation requirements for the site to be made suitable.

Do auditors need to register before undertaking audits in Tasmania?

Yes, where the audit is being conducted to satisfy requirements under the Potentially Contaminated Land Code. Should a client wish to contract an auditor who is not on the Register but does comply with the principal requirement above it will be a simple matter of the auditor sending in a request for inclusion and this can be addressed expediently by EPA, subject to the Director determining the suitability of the candidate auditor.

What starts the process of a contaminated land audit?

A person may choose to commission an Audit Report where they plan to redevelop a site and a determination by a person approved by the Director is a requirement under the Acceptable Solution in the Planning Code. Specific site legislation (i.e. the Macquarie Point Development Corporation Act 2012) may also require the use of an auditor approved by the Director.

Who engages the auditor and how are they chosen?

The contaminated land auditor is normally engaged by the person commissioning the contaminated land assessment work.  The client may view the Register of Contaminated Land Auditors. However, any contaminated land auditor of the client's choice may also be contacted, they would simply need to successfully apply for inclusion on the Register to be able to conduct auditing work in Tasmania.

Are there fees, and what is the process, to be placed on the Register?

There are no fees. The EPA requires an “expression of interest" from an auditor, to be considered for inclusion on the Register. This request should be made in writing to the Director and include their Curriculum vitae and details of the auditor's accreditation including whether any conditions are in place in relation to their accreditation or whether the auditor is subject to any disciplinary action in any State in which they are accredited. The auditor's Insurance Certificate, which explicitly covers audits carried out in Tasmania, should also be provided. If the accreditation is appropriate, inclusion on the list is expedited. 

Applications should be provided to​ 

Do auditors have to comply with Jurisdictional Guidelines?

Auditors must comply with the technical standards and practices that relate to conducting an audit as detailed in the legislation, mandatory guidelines and Codes of Practice that apply to them in the State/s in which they hold appropriate accreditation. Auditors must comply with the standards expressed in the National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure 1999, which is a State Policy in Tasmania. Where a policy matter seems ambiguous, advice from the Director may be requested.

Does an auditor have to notify the EPA if they have been requested to undertake a contaminated land audit?

No, EPA does not require notification of commissioning of an Audit.

Does an auditor have to supply the EPA with an Audit Report?

No, Audits being conducted to satisfy planning requirements should not be submitted to the EPA.

Are there procedures for disciplinary action for auditors providing false information?

The accrediting state would be provided with information in relation to such matters and would include this in their reviews of the auditor. 

The Director may remove any person from the Register where this is reasonable, including where an auditor fails to comply with relevant technical guidance or legislation, where the auditor's accreditation is under review in the accrediting State or where such accreditation is no longer current. The Macquarie Point Development Corporation Act 2012, Section 39F (6), also specifies that the Director may revoke accreditation if the person fails to comply with any conditions of their accreditation.  

Additionally, where information has also been provided under a regulatory instrument (i.e. an Environment Protection Notice or a Notice served under Part 5A of EMPCA) there are penalties for false and misleading statements (section 43A of EMPCA).​