Environmental Relevant Activities (ERAs)
Environmentally Relevant Activities (ERAs) are activities that will, or have the potential to, release contaminants which may cause environmental harm, into the environment.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and local governments across Queensland are jointly responsible for regulating ERAs.
ERAs that Townsville City Council regulate include motor vehicle workshops, poultry farming, abrasive blasting, boiler making and engineering, surface coating, concrete batching and boat maintenance and repair. For further information on these activities refer to our factsheets.
Further information about EPA activities can be obtained from their website.
It is a requirement of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act) that anyone who conducts an ERA must hold a development approval and a registration certificate for that activity. For details on how apply for a development approval and registration certificate click on the links below.
In 1997 the Queensland Government introduced the Integrated Planning Act 1997 (IPA). The IPA established a new system for assessing and placing conditions on development applications. This system is known as Integrated Development Assessment System (IDAS).
One of the first pieces of legislation incorporated into IDAS was the Environmental Protection Act. Certain activities known as ERAs are assessed through the IDAS system. Following the successful completion of the IDAS process a development approval may be issued.
Who do I submit my application for ERA to?
If you business requires assessment under the planning scheme you are required to contact Planning and Development Services to determine their requirements. If a planning application is required you are to submit your ERA application (Part G and Registration Certificate application) along with the planning forms to Planning and Development Services. Environmental Health Services then acts as a concurrence agency to the assessment manager (Planning and Development).
If there are no Planning requirements (i.e. the development is self assessable under the City Plan 2005) the application can be submitted directly to Environmental Health Services who will then be the assessment manager.
For an ERA only, please complete the following forms:
Although it is not a mandatory requirement for your application, it is recommended that you complete the following IDAS checklists to assist you with determining whether a development permit is required, which forms you need to complete for your application, and whether there are any referral agencies for your application.
Further information can be found at the at the following external website:
Department of Infrastructure and Planning
Application fees to submit a development application to Environmental Health Services are listed in the Schedule of Fees. When the application is submitted, the development application and annual fee for the activity is payable.
Once your Development Application is approved, you have 30 days to apply a Registration Certificate without charge.
If you are applying for a registration certificate at the same time as Development Approval the fee will be calculated as:
- Development Approval - application fee plus annual fee; and
- Registration Certificate - application fee plus annual fee.
(i.e. the annual fee is paid twice and an application fee is charged for both the Development Approval and Registration Certificate).
If you apply for a registration certificate after the 30 day period, you are required to submit an application as well as pay the application fee and annual fee for the activity.
Annual fees are payable each year on your anniversary date (which is the date the activity was first licensed) and are based on the Aggregate Environmental Scores (AES) for each ERA. AES was determined by the Environmental Protection Agency and is based on the ERA's potential environmental impact on water, the atmosphere or land. Refer to the Summary of Annual Fees for ERAs information sheet for further information about how these fees are determined.
Some activities attract a higher AES than others because of their potential impact. For example, a motor vehicle workshop has an AES of 7, whereas a concrete batching plant has an AES of 30.
Refer to the Schedule of Fees for further information about your ERA's annual fee and AES.
Making an application for an ERA registration certificate
The Environmental Protection Act 1994 requires that any person carrying out an ERA must hold, or be acting under, a registration certificate for the activity. All operators are also required to have a development approval for the activity, unless a code of environmental compliance applies.
Previously, any environmental authority, other than a deemed approval, that was in force immediately before 4 October 2004 was treated as a development approval and registration certificate. However, all environmental authorities and deemed approvals have now expired and if a deemed approval you are required to apply for a Registration Certificate.
Application for Registration for New Activities
A person must apply to be a registered operator to carry out one or more ERAs, including for example:
- One or more ERAs at a single premise,
- One or more ERAs at two or more premises.
An application for a registration certificate may be refused if the applicant is not a suitable person to be a registered operator having regard to the applicant's environmental record.
Applications for Multiple Activities
If an application is being made for multiple activities at two or more premises on a single registration certificate, an additional attachment to the registration application form must be submitted to demonstrate that these activities will be managed as part of a single integrated operation.
You will be advised of the decision to grant a single registration certificate or multiple registration certificates.
When applying for multiple activities as a single integrated operation, the fee payable is the application fee plus the highest annual fee of the activities being applied for. If Environmental Health Services decides to grant more than one registration certificate the additional fees will be advised.
Application for Continuing Registration
If you are taking over a business from an existing operator, you will need to indicate on the registration application form that you are applying for a continuing registration. In addition to the standard details on the registration form, the details and signatures of the new operator and the existing operator will be required.
It is a requirement that the existing operator notify the buyer of the need to hold a registration certificate.
It is also recommended that you conduct a business search to determine if there are any outstanding requisitions or outstanding fees owed by the business.
How to cancel/surrender a ERA registration certificate
You are required to surrender your registration certificate if you have closed down and no longer operate the ERA activities as listed on your registration certificate.
There are no fees associated with this form and you can submit your completed application form to Environmental Health Services. In your application, you will need to include details demonstrating that the site was left in a environmentally sound state and that you complied with the conditions of your Development Approval.
The original Registration Certificate should be attached to this application.
At least 22 business days before each anniversary day for the registration certificate, Townsville City Council is required to give the registration certificate holder an annual notice requiring the holder to pay the annual fee and to complete an annual return. Should you require assistance please contact Environmental Health Services.
- Please contact Environmental Health Services for further information.
- Copies of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 and associated legislation can be found at the Queensland Legislation website.
- If your ERA is not devolved to Townsville City Council, contact the EPA or obtain more information from the EPA website.
A series of fact sheets have been developed for each ERA. These fact sheets will help you to understand how to comply with Environmental Protection requirements.
For more information, please phone 4727 9000 to contact Environmental Health Services.