Information on this page is not current law. It details new laws intended to commence on 1 July 2021 under the Environment Protection Act 2017.

The new Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018  (the Act) introduces third party rights.

Third-party rights are an important new tool that gives the general community broader access to justice. You will be able to apply for third party rights in the courts.

EPA may be able to act on your behalf if a person or company’s failure to comply with the law has adversely affected you. Third-party rights allow you to defend your interests, too. They apply if the courts find that EPA has not acted where it should have. The court can order EPA to act within the scope of its powers if you’re successful.

How third-party rights work

To use your third-party rights, you must first ask for EPA’s help in writing. If EPA does not act in a reasonable time after receiving the written request, the court may allow you to make an application.

You’ll be better able to exercise your third-party rights if you hold genuine concerns about harm to human health if

  • you have been adversely impacted yourself, and 
  • the court believes that the matter is in the public interest.

This part of the Act starts one year after the rest of the Act. This is to allow the justice system time to adapt and expand its capacity to meet the needs of the community.

Third party rights infographic

Reviewed 25 May 2020