Transferring or taking over an Environmentally Relevant Activity

Taking over an Environmentally Relevant Activity

It is recommended that you conduct a business search to determine if there are any outstanding requisitions or outstanding fees owed by the business. There are three types of searches as follows:

Activity Facility Records Search - Current status of licence/registration records only (does not include an inspection report). Applications must be accompanied by the relevant fee and consent of the Environmental Authority holder.

Activity/Facility Search and Inspection - Current status of licence/registration records and current inspection report where applicable. Applications must be accompanied by the relevant fee and consent of the Environmental Authority holder.

Transferring an environmental authority

You may wish to transfer your environmental authority in some situations. For example, if you sell a business that includes an environmental authority, you will need to transfer the environmental authority to the new business owner. A transfer will also be required when an environmental authority has joint holders and:

  • An existing joint holder wants to cease being a holder; or
  • A new joint holder is added.

For you to transfer environmental authorities to another person, you will need to make a transfer application.

To make a transfer application you must submit the completed Request to Transfer Environmental Authority Holder(s) to Council with the correct fee. Please contact the Environment and Public Health Unit of Council for a copy of the relevant form.

The most important part of the transfer application is to demonstrate that the proposed new holder of the environmental authority is registered as a suitable operator. This is because an environmental authority transfer application can only be refused if the proposed holder is not a registered suitable operator.

Where all or part of the operation is being transferred, the new holder may wish to apply in advance for registration as a suitable operator by submitting the suitable operator application to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. This application can also be included with the transfer application.

Development permits for environmentally relevant activities are not transferable as the conditions apply to the land itself. If you purchase the land parcel you will also acquire the development permit. 

Inform land owners of transfer

In some instances, the holder of the environmental authority may not own the land where their operation occurs. In these instances, if the transfer application is approved, the new holder of the environmental authority is required to inform the owners of the land on which the activity takes place that they are the new holder.

This is a requirement that is generally covered by the commercial arrangements between parties for the lease of the land. Because the environmental authority may involve a notifiable activity (activities with the potential to cause land contamination), it is essential that the land owners are aware of who is carrying out an activity on their land.