Major Projects Facilitation Agency - Commonwealth Regulators

Major investment carries with it the responsibility of meeting regulatory requirements. Some of the Australian Government's regulatory and approval bodies that the Major Projects Approval Agency works with are listed below.

Attorney General's Department

Native Title:

The Native Title Act (NTA) allows for recognition of the native title rights of Indigenous people through a claims and mediation process. Proposed activities or developments that may affect native title are classed as 'future acts'. The future acts regime under the NTA allows for a range of future acts to occur on Crown land and specifies the level of consultation that must be carried out by project proponents before an act that affects native title can be validly done.

Visit the Native Title web page.

Australian Communications and Media Authority

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has responsibility for regulating projects which involve running cables through protected areas, international telecommunications cables, radio-communications, broadcasting and telecommunications.

Visit the ACMA website.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Regulated industries:

Project proponents may need to organise third party access arrangements to certain regulated industries including electricity, gas and transport networks.

Visit the Regulated industries web page.

Australian Energy Regulator

Gas and electricity transmission:

Project proponents in the energy sector must adhere to gas and electricity transmission guidelines.

Visit the AER website.

Maritime safety:

Maritime industry projects must meet requirements to ensure the seaworthiness and safe operation of domestic commercial and foreign vessels in Australian waters, as well as their environmental obligations with regard to marine pollution.

Visit the AMSA website.

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency

Radiation use by Commonwealth entities:

The use of radiation by Commonwealth entities and their contractors requires license approval and ongoing compliance monitoring.

Visit the ARPANSA website.

Australian Tax Office

Tax obligations:

Understanding Australian tax obligations is essential for any business. Most major business taxes, such as income tax, are collected by the Australian Government through the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

Visit the ATO website.

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources


Importing machinery and equipment can involve risk to Australia's biosecurity. Australia's quarantine requirements must be met.

Visit the Biosecurity Guide to the Major Resources and Energy Sector web page.


Permits are required for taking fish and using boats and equipment in Commonwealth fisheries.

Visit the Fisheries web page.

Department of Employment

Workplace relations:

Project proponents need to meet their obligations under Australia's workplace laws and abide by the rulings of the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Visit the Workplace Relations or FWO websites.

Department of Home Affairs

Visas and immigration:

There are different requirements for sponsoring skilled people to work in Australia.

Visit the Visa for business and employers web page.

Customs requirements:

Depending on the nature of the commodity, major project proponents may need to obtain permits to facilitate clearance of goods.

Visit the General Imports web page.

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

Offshore petroleum activities:

Authorisation is required to conduct petroleum exploration and recovery operations, and to construct and operate petroleum and greenhouse gas pipelines, in Commonwealth waters. Authorisations (titles) are granted by the Joint Authority.

There are different requirements for sponsoring skilled people to work in Australia.

Visit the Upsteam Petroleum web page.


National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA) has responsibility for titles administration and data management functions in relation to offshore petroleum activities in Commonwealth waters.

Visit the NOPTA website.


National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) regulated petroleum projects undertaken in Commonwealth waters. Approvals and requirements under this regime include an environment plan (including an oil spill contingency plan), a well operations management plan, well activity approvals and a safety case.

Visit the NOPSEMA website.

Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities

Aviation security:

Persons engaged with civil aviation related activities must comply with security requirements for civil aviation in Australia.

Visit the Aviation Security web page.

Maritime security:

All security regulated ports, port facilities, offshore facilities, port and offshore service providers and ships (collectively, maritime industry participants) are required to undertake security risk assessments and implement security plans to address identified risks.

Visit the Maritime Security web page.

Department of the Environment and Energy

EPBC Act Approvals:

Major project proponents may need to obtain approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) for certain actions or activities that affect the environment.

Visit the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act web page.

Heritage Approvals:

Significant heritage places are identified and grouped (by type) into lists that guide the protection and management of heritage values. Listed places are protected by Australian Government laws and special agreements with state and territory governments and with Indigenous and private owners. Places on the list are protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), which requires that approval be obtained before any action takes place that could have a significant impact on the national heritage values of a listed place.

Visit the Heritage Laws web page.

Historic Shipwrecks:

The requirements of the Historic Shipwrecks Act must be taken into consideration when applying for any State, Territory or Commonwealth planning approval for actions or developments in these waters. Permits are required to damage or disturb historic shipwrecks or relics, to enter a protected zone around a historic shipwreck site, to transfer possession of a historic shipwreck relic, and to remove a historic shipwreck relic from Australia.

Visit the Historic shipwrecks laws web page.

Sea Dumping:

Permits are required for sea dumping activities undertaken in Commonwealth waters. These include dredging operations, the creation of artificial reefs, dumping of vessels, platforms or other man-made structures and burials at sea.

Visit the Sea Dumping web page.

Foreign Investment Review Board

Foreign investment:

Investment by a foreign entity in Australia may require the formal submission of a proposal. This is subject to approval by the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). Whether a proposal is required to be submitted to FIRB by the investor depends on the monetary value, the nature of the investment, and type of investor.

Visit the Foreign Investment Review Board website.

Safe Work Australia

Work health and safety:

Persons conducting a business or undertaking, officers, workers and other parties who have duties under the WHS Act are subject to the compliance, enforcement and penalty provisions of the Work Health and Safety Act.

Visit the Work health and safety regulatory framework web page.

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