The consultation period for Cost Recovery under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) closed on 28 March 2017. Documents remain available for reference only.
Change in definition of a small business for the purpose of exemption from cost recovery fees for environmental assessments
The definition of a ‘small business’ for the purpose of exemption from cost recovery fees for environmental assessments is linked to the Income Tax Assessment Act (1997).
As of 19 May 2017, the definition of small business in the Income Tax Assessment Act (1997) has been changed from an entity with aggregated turnover of less than $2 million in the previous financial year to one with aggregated turnover of less than $10 million in the previous financial year. To apply for the exemption, you will need to declare on the online referral form or the appropriate form at the assessments stage that you meet the definition of a small business under the Income Tax Assessment Act (1997).
For more details of the exemption, see the Cost Recovery Implementation Statement 2016-17.
From 1 October 2014, the Australian Government commenced cost recovery arrangements for environmental assessments and some strategic assessments under the EPBC Act. These arrangements are consistent with the Australian Government Cost Recovery Guidelines which establishes that those who create the need for regulation should incur the costs, rather than the costs being borne by the wider community.
Small business exemption from cost recovery fees for environmental assessments
The Department is currently reviewing the small business exemption criteria and welcomes comments on the preferred method for determining which businesses should be exempt from cost recovery fees.
- Consultation Paper: The definition of ‘small business’ and eligibility for exemption from cost recovery fees for environmental assessments under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
Changes to cost recovery arrangements - 2016
In 2016, the Department undertook a review of cost recovery arrangements for environmental assessments and strategic assessments under the EPBC Act. Based on this review, a number of changes were made. Revised cost recovery arrangements commenced on 1 October 2016.
For further information, please refer to the fact sheet below.
Updated October 2016
What are the key changes to cost recovery for environmental assessments under the EPBC Act? (PDF - 631.33 KB)
What are the key changes to cost recovery for environmental assessments under the EPBC Act? (DOC - 73 KB)
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated October 2016
Please note that this document should be read in the context of the fact sheet on key changes to cost recovery in 2016 (above).
In 2014, the Department published a Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS). This statement was updated on 5 September 2016 to reflect changes to cost recovery arrangements which commenced on 1 October 2016.
The CRIS includes details of fees and methods for determining fees, exemptions and waivers. Exemptions for cost recovery fees are available for individuals and some small businesses. The CRIS contains the fee structure for cost recovery as agreed by the Minister for the Environment and Energy.
Each project will be subject to the following fees:
- a referral fee at the time of submitting an EPBC referral form;
- base fees due at each statutory stage in the assessment process, if the project proceeds to assessment; and
- complexity fees due at each statutory stage in the assessment process, if applicable.
Cost recovery for Wildlife Trade Activities
Cost recovery is already in place for some wildlife trade activities under the EPBC Act, and fees were increased as of 1 July 2013.
Further information about wildlife trade cost recovery is available below:
For further information on cost recovery please call the Department's Community Information Unit on 1800 803 772 or email your query to the Department at: email@example.com