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LETTER TO THE COMMONWEALTH COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT DIVISION - REFERRAL OF PERMIT TO CLEAR PASTORAL LAND (S 38(1)(H)) ON CLARAVALE STATION - PLC21/02 UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AND BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION ACT - ENVIRONMENT CENTRE

02.10.2021

On 24 September 2021 Environment Centre NT and the Wilderness Society drafted a letter to the Commonwealth Compliance and Enforcement Division referring Top End Pastoral Company's permit (PLC21/02) to clear pastoral land (s28(1)(h)) on Claravale Station  to be assessed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conversation Act 1999 (Cth). 

A summary of the letter to the Commonwealth Compliance and Enforcement Division is below or download the full letter here.

On behalf of the Wilderness Society, our 3000 strong Territory supporters and tens of thousands of supporters nationally, and the Environment Centre NT and our 7000 supporters, we are writing to request that you exercise your powers under s70(1) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) regarding the above application, approved by a delegate of the Northern Territory’s Pastoral Land Board.  

Top End Pastoral Company (the Proponent) has been granted a permit by the Northern Territory’s Pastoral Land Board to clear 926.85ha of pastoral land under section 38(1)(h) of the Pastoral Land Act 1992 (NT) on Claravale Station Pastoral Lease 01214 on 13 September 2021 (the Proposed Action). A copy of the permit is attached.

As you are aware, under section 18 of the EPBC Act, a person must not take an action that has or is likely to have a significant impact on a listed threatened species included in the endangered, critically endangered or vulnerable category, without an approval. In our view, and for the reasons detailed below, the Proposed Action clearly meets the threshold of requiring a referral and approval under the EPBC Act.

We respectfully submit that you should exercise your powers under s 70(1) the EPBC Act to request the Proponent to refer the Proposed Action to you within 15 business days. If the matter is not referred to you within that period, we submit that you should deem that the Proposed Action has been referred to you under s 70(3).

Alternatively, we respectfully request the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (the Department) to immediately investigate potential breaches of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) in relation to the potentially unlawful proposed vegetation clearing at Claravale Station.