Article Index

Authorisation to modify a threatened ecological community

On 1 January 2019 the provisions of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act) relating to threatened ecological communities (TECs) came into effect. TECs are ecological communities listed in the following categories under section 27 of the BC Act:

  • critically endangered, or
  • endangered, or
  • vulnerable.

Under section 45 of the BC Act the Minister may authorise a person to modify an occurrence of a TEC. Under provisions of the BC Act, significant penalties (up to $500,000) are prescribed under section 48 where a TEC is modified without authorisation.

What is modification?

'Modify', in relation to an occurrence of a TEC under section 44 of the BC Act, means to take action that results in:

  1. the modification of the occurrence of the TEC to such an extent that the occurrence is unlikely to recover:
    1. its species composition or structure; or
    2. its species composition and structure; or
  2. the destruction of the occurrence of the TEC.

Modification results from an impact that will permanently alter the species composition and/or the structure of, or will destroy, the occurrence of the TEC.

Do I need to apply for authorisation to modify a threatened ecological community?

pdfGuidance note - Modification of an occurence of a threatened ecological community provides guidance on completing an application for an authorisation under the BC Act to modify an occurrence of a TEC. The guidance note is intended to assist people to undertake a 'self-assessment' to decide whether a proposed action is likely to modify an occurrence of a TEC. It contains the information about what modification is, and what information is required to apply for an authorisation. The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions is responsible for reviewing and administering applications for authorisation to modify TECs.

An application for authorisation to modify a TEC must be submitted on the form docxApplication to the Minister for authorisation under section 45 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016105.25 KB. There are no fees assosciated with applying for an authorisation to modify a TEC.

Is an authorisation needed for actions related to ongoing maintenance?

You should not conclude that modification is unlikely to occur because ongoing management or mitigation measures are in place, unless the effectiveness of those measures is well established (for example, through demonstrated application, studies or surveys).

Please submit completed authorisation forms in electronic format by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Alternatively, forward a hard copy form to:

Threatened Ecological Communities Ecologist
Species and Communities Program
Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
Locked Bag 104
BENTLEY DELIVERY CENTRE  WA  6983