The Antarctic Treaty Environment Protection Act 1980 (ATEP Act) is a Commonwealth Act that applies within the Australian Antarctic Territory, and to Australian citizens, organisations and property in the Antarctic Treaty Area. It addresses 3 main issues:

  1. the conservation of Antarctic fauna and flora, including the specification of permits and specially protected areas
  2. environmental impact assessment
  3. inspectors and offences.

Instruments made under the ATEP Act include:

  • Antarctic Treaty (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 1993
  • Antarctic Treaty (Waste Management) Regulations 1994
  • Antarctic Treaty (Environment Protection) Proclamation 2007
  • Antarctic Treaty (Environment Protection – Historic Sites and Monuments) Proclamation 2007
  • Antarctic Treaty (Environment Protection) Act 1980 – Declaration of a Specially Protected Species (Ommatophoca rossii) — October 2010

In accordance with the principles of the Madrid Protocol the ATEP Act seeks to ensure Australia’s commitment to environmental protection in the Antarctic.

Current versions of Australian legislation and legislative instruments can be found at the Federal Register of Legislation.