Reef regulations amendment Bill passed by Parliament

The Environmental Protection (Great Barrier Reef Protection Measures) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 was passed on 19 September 2019 with the new Reef protection regulations proposed to come into effect on 1 December 2019 and rolled out over three years. 

While supporting action to protect the Reef, the Property Council previously raised concerns with how the new legislation would affect members who own, develop or manage industrial property within the outlined Great Barrier Reef catchments. 

The Property Council previously provided submissions on the legislation to the Queensland Parliament, and to the Department of Environment and Science (DES), through the relevant discussion paper, consultation paper, and the ‘Broadening and enhancing reef protection regulations’ consultation regulatory impact statement (RIS). 

Under the amendments, sites for new prescribed environmentally relevant activities (ERAs) under the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 within the GBR catchment may have water quality offset conditions imposed on them.

Prescribed ERAs are already subject to an extensive approval process, with many requiring both development approval under the Planning Act 2016 and an environmental authority under the EP Act. The Property Council holds that these additional measures are unnecessary.