Noise Pollution Law

Noise pollution in the ACT is regulated by the Environment Protection Act 1997. Regulations under the Act set specific noise pollution requirements. In addition there are three Environment Protection Policies covering noise generally as well as motor sport noise and concert noise. 

Click here to download the Noise Pollution Law Factsheet

Pollution Control Law

The Environment Protection Act 1997 is the Australian Capital Territory’s main legislation for managing pollution. It requires that certain activities be licensed and subject to environmental standards. In addition it places a general environmental duty on all individuals and businesses in the community to take steps to prevent or minimise pollution that their activities may cause. The Act and its regulations are enforced by the Environment Protection Authority. Pollution is also governed by the common law. 

Click here to download the Pollution Control Law Factsheet

Tree Protection Law

Significant trees in the ACT urban environment are identified and protected through the Tree Protection Act 2005 . The Act creates an ACT Tree Register, a Tree Advisory Panel and measures to control damage to ‘protected’ trees. 

Click here to download the Tree Protection Law Factsheet

Challenging Environmental Decisions

There is a range of mechanisms available in the ACT to ensure that government agencies are publicly accountable for their decisions and actions, including through complaints, appeals or investigations. Tribunal or court action provides scope to revoke or make a different decision.

Click here to download the Challenging Environmental Decisions Factsheet

Introduction to Environment and Planning Law, and the Legal System

Environment and planning law in the Australian Capital Territory sits within the context of the Australian legal system, which is based on a federal system of Government, the separation of powers doctrine, responsibilities and powers set out in the Constitution, and the rights of State / Territory Governments to make legislation, as well as certain rights individuals have to challenge legal decisions.

Click here to download the Introduction to Environment and Planning Law Factsheet

Biodiversity Law

The key legislation for protection of the ACT’s biodiversity is the Nature Conservation Act 1980 (ACT). It requires development of a Nature Conservation Strategy, creates a Conservator of Flora and Fauna, an ACT Parks and Conservation Service, and has various mechanisms to identify and protect species and ecological communities at risk including through action plans. 

Click here to download the Biodiversity Law Factsheet

Heritage Protection Law

The ACT Heritage Act 2004 in conjunction with Commonwealth legislation, notably the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth), is intended to protect the ACT’s heritage places and objects for future generations – those places and objects valued by communities for their historic, spiritual, cultural, ecological or evolutionary characteristics.

The Heritage Act creates the ACT Heritage Register, the ACT Heritage Council and a set of processes for assessing and protecting significant heritage places and objects. 

Click here to download the Heritage Protection Law Factsheet

Freedom of Information

There are many public information sources that might be of assistance when taking action to protect the environment. The Freedom of Information Act 1989 (ACT) provides some legal rights to information regarding ACT government decisions. 

Click here to download the FOI Factsheet

Becoming an Incorporated Group

You may wish to start your own group to voice concerns over a development or to address other environmental issues. If you do this, you need to decide whether to give your group legal authority by incorporating or becoming a company.

Click here to download the 'Becoming an Incorporated Group' Factsheet

Summernats and Noise

Read this factsheet to understand your rights about the noise generated during the Summernats festival.

Click here to download our Summernats Factsheet

Non-violent Direct Action

There are a number of offences that protesters using non-violent direct action must be aware of during the course of their protest in the state of New South Wales. This document will discuss offences that such action typically attracts as well as some information about your rights and responsibilities surrounding a police arrest and how the matter might be dealt with by a Magistrate in a NSW Local Court. 

Click here to download the Non-violent Direct Action Factsheet


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