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The Environmental Protection Amendment Regulations 2018 were gazetted in April 2018. The amendments provide clarity around the use of clean fill in development, including waste levy liability under the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Levy Act 2007 and licensing under the Environmental Protection Act 1986.

The amendments were supported by the publication of the Landfill Waste Classification and Waste Definitions 1996 (amended 2018) (Waste Definitions) which included thresholds for uncontaminated fill. We completed a technical review of the thresholds between November 2018 and August 2019. The review was undertaken in consultation with industry stakeholders and was overseen by independent national experts. A consultation paper sought feedback from industry to inform the review.

Our final review report documents the review process including the feedback received during consultation. The independent experts’ report provides an independent technical assessment of our review methodology and the comments on the appropriateness of the revised thresholds.

The adjusted thresholds are presented in Table 6 of the 2019 amended Waste Definitions. Table 7 of the Waste Definitions has also been updated to clarify the sampling and testing requirements for uncontaminated fill in response to specific matters raised during consultation.

We recognise that the review could not address all of the consequences for industry of the decisions of Justice Beech and the Court of Appeal in Eclipse Resources Pty Ltd v the State of Western Australia [No. 4] [2016] WASC 62 and Eclipse Resources Pty Ltd v The Minister for Environment [No 2] [2017] WASCA 90.

The department is continuing work to develop a legislative framework for waste-derived materials. We are considering the feedback received on the issues paper Waste not, want not: valuing waste as a resource and will publish a summary report and information about further developments, including future opportunities to provide comment, on our website.