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Authorisation to modify a threatened ecological community

 Threatened ecological communities (TECs) are ecological communities that are listed in the following categories under section 27 of the Biodiversity Conservation 2016 Act (BC Act):

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

The Minister lists an ecological community as a threatened ecological community when it is facing risk of becoming eligible for listing as a collapsed ecological community and when deciding whether or not to list, must have regard only to matters relating to the survival of the ecological community. The guidelines for listing of threatened species and ecological communities are published here:

Nominations for listing (and delisting) of threatened plants, animals and ecological communities - Parks and Wildlife Service (dpaw.wa.gov.au)

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?

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

pdfGuidance note - Modification of an occurrence 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.

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 note that on 15 October 2021, the Biodiversity Conservation (Exemptions) Amendment Order 2021 (Amendment Order) was published in the Government Gazette. The Amendment Order exempts landowners and occupiers who are undertaking specified bushfire mitigation activities on land that is not managed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) from the requirement for an authorisation to take a threatened species or modify a threatened ecological community under sections 40 and 45 of the BC Act under certain conditions. For more information see Fire information notes | Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (dbca.wa.gov.au).

Application submission

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

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