Monitoring and enforcement
Both governments and proponents have responsibility for monitoring the impacts of activities on native plants and animals. You can also monitor the impacts of activities on the environment, such as water and air quality.
Before reporting suspected breaches of environmental laws you will require evidence. It is also important to remember that the law contains certain exceptions and defences to offences. The most common defence is that a person hasa permit or licence to take the action which would otherwise be an offence, such as a licence to harm or pick a threatened species. If you are unsure about whether an action is an offence or not, call the Environment Line on 131 555.
National and State enforcement authorities can issue stop work notices in many cases where unauthorised activities are occurring that threaten harm to protected species.
- To report harm of a Commonwealth protected area, contact the Australian Environment Department. There are six Commonwealth reserves in Australia. Examples of illegal activity include:
- Killing or injuring a native species in a Commonwealth reserve without authorisation.
- Carrying out mining activities in a Commonwealth reserve.
- To report harm of a NSW protected area, call the Environment Line on 131 555. Examples of illegal activity include:
- Damaging the habitat of threatened species, populations or ecological communities.
- Driving vehicles off-road or using camels, horses and machines in certain protected areas, or taking animals into a national park.
- Camping in an area that has not been set aside for camping.
- To report harm of a nationally protected species, contact the Australian Environment Department. Examples of illegal activity include:
- Taking an action that will have a significant impact on a nationally listed threatened species, population or ecological community.
- Taking an action that will have a significant impact on a nationally listed migratory species.
- Report harm of a NSW protected species to the Environment Line on 131 555. Examples of illegal activity include:
- Harming an animal that is a threatened species, population or an ecological community, or picking any plant that is a threatened species, population or ecological community. Click here for more information about how threatened species and ecological communities are protected in NSW.
- Harming native animals, including game birds. Picking or harming native plants may also be an offence. For more information about how native plants and animals are protected in NSW, see our Fact Sheet on protecting native animals and plants.
- Buying, selling or possessing threatened species or populations, or native plants or animals without a wildlife licence. The Office of Environment and can issue wildlife licences to authorise these activities.
- Firing weapons.
- Damaging critical habitat. The Office of Environment and Heritage is responsible for the listing of critical habitat. There are currently 4 critical habitats on the NSW list.
Under certain environmental laws, any person has the right to bring proceedings in a Court to remedy or restrain a breach. In NSW, this is mainly to the Land and Environment Court. For breaches of the EPBC Act, it is the Federal Court. See How can I have my say? for more information. You should contact the EDO NSW Environmental Law Line to request some initial legal advice if you would like to take this step.