Referral of proposed action
The purpose of a referral is to determine whether your proposed action will need formal assessment and approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
Your referral will be the principal basis for the Minister's decision as to whether approval is necessary and, if so, the type of assessment that will be taken.
You may still make a referral if you believe your action is not going to have a significant impact, or if you are unsure.
The EPBC Online Referral Form has been updated to:
- Improve usability - letting you move between sections of the form without needing to fill in all of the required fields;
- Provide clearer guidance on the character limits within each section of the form; and
- Provide more options for adding the location of your proposal by enabling you to:
- Upload shapefiles; and/or
- Upload .kml files (geospatial information); and/or
- Draw the proposal area on the map.
- File attachment upload size has been increased from 5mb to 25 mb (excluding for spatial files which remain at 5mb).
What does this mean for you?
On Tuesday, 22 October 2019, the new EPBC Act Online Referral Form became available in Online Services. If you have a draft referral in progress, you can either:
- Start a new referral, giving you access to all of the new features; or
- Continue with your existing draft on the old form.
Any draft referrals created on the old form must be submitted to the Department by 5:00pm Friday, 24 January 2020. After this time, the draft referrals will be removed from Online Services and will not progress through the assessment and approval process.
If you need to access your unsubmitted drafts after 24 January 2020, you can contact email@example.com to request a copy.
Who can I contact for help with the new form?
You must register and log in to Online Services to submit an EPBC Act Referral.
The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment will be closed from close of business Thursday 24 December 2020, reopening Monday 4 January 2021.
Validation decisions and publication of EPBC referrals submitted in the period Friday 18 December 2020 to Sunday 3 January 2021 will be released after 8 January 2021. This is to ensure that the public have adequate opportunity to review referrals and submit comments over the holiday period.
File attachments to support your application