This audit would assess the effectiveness of the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment in administering threat abatement and threatened species recovery activities, including its support to the Threatened Species Scientific Committee, development of recovery and abatement plans, and support for the implementation of those plans.

At February 2020, there were 1,890 species and 87 ecological communities listed as threatened, and 21 threatening processes identified, under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Parliamentary inquiries and reviews have identified issues with the department’s regulation of threat abatement plans and processes, with the government committing to implement a number of the recommendations of parliamentary committees.

In response to a recommendation from the House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy, the Auditor-General committed to considering a potential audit of the department’s administration of threat abatement plans and related sections of the EPBC Act.