Australian Capital Territory Current Acts

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Objects of Act

    (1)     The main object of this Act is to protect, conserve and enhance the biodiversity of the ACT.

    (2)     This is to be achieved particularly by—

        (a)     protecting, conserving, enhancing, restoring and improving nature conservation, including—

              (i)     native species of animals and plants and their habitats; and

              (ii)     ecological communities; and

              (iii)     biological diversity at the community, species and genetic levels; and

              (iv)     ecosystems, and ecosystem processes and functions; and

Examples—processes and functions

1     decomposition and production of plant matter

2     energy and nutrient exchanges

              (v)     ecological connectivity; and


the movement of organisms from one place to another

              (vi)     landforms of natural significance, including geological and geomorphological features and processes; and

              (vii)     landscapes of natural significance; and

        (b)     promoting and supporting the management, maintenance and enhancement of biodiversity of local, regional and national significance; and

        (c)     promoting the involvement of, and cooperation between, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, landholders, other community members and governments in conserving, protecting, enhancing, restoring and improving biodiversity; and

        (d)     encouraging public appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of biodiversity; and

        (e)     recognising and promoting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' role in, and knowledge of, the conservation and ecologically sustainable use of biodiversity; and

        (f)     recognising the significant stewardship role that landholders have in managing the natural assets on their land; and

        (g)     ensuring that members of the public have—

              (i)     access to reliable and relevant information in appropriate forms to facilitate a good understanding of nature conservation issues; and

              (ii)     opportunities to participate in policy development, nature conservation planning and conservation work; and


ACT ParkCare

        (h)     promoting the principles of ecologically sustainable development.

    (3)     In exercising a function under this Act, the Minister must have regard to the objects of this Act.

    (4)     In this section:

"ecologically sustainable development" means the effective integration of economic and environmental considerations in decision-making processes achievable through implementation of the following:

        (a)     the precautionary principle;

        (b)     the inter-generational equity principle;

        (c)     conservation of biological diversity and ecological integrity;

        (d)     improved valuation and pricing of environmental resources.

"inter-generational equity principle" means that the present generation should ensure that the health, diversity and productivity of the environment is maintained or enhanced for the benefit of future generations.

"precautionary principle" means that, if there is a threat of serious or irreversible environmental damage, a lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation.

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