An Environmentally Relevant Activity (ERA) is an activity that is required to be approved by either Council or State Government due to its potential to damage or pollute the environment (air, land, water and noise). The State Government Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) and other state government agencies regulate higher risk activities whilst local councils regulate activities with only localised pollution potential.

The Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act) places a general environmental duty on all persons to protect Queensland’s environment while allowing for ecologically sustainable development. It also requires Council to monitor the standard of operations in devolved ERAs.


On application

Application fees to submit a development application to Environmental Health Services are listed in Council’s fees and charges. When the application is submitted, the development application and annual fee for the activity is payable.

Once your Development Application is approved, you have 30 days to apply for a Registration Certificate without charge.

If you are applying for a registration certificate at the same time as Development Approval the fee will be calculated as:

  • Development Approval – application fee plus annual fee; and
  • Registration Certificate – no additional charge.

If you apply for a registration certificate after the 30 day period, you are required to submit an application as well as pay the application fee and annual fee for the activity.

Annual fees

Annual fees are payable each year by the 30 June and are based on the Aggregate Environmental Scores (AES) for each ERA. AES was determined by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and is based on the ERA’s potential environmental impact on water, the atmosphere or land.

Some activities attract a higher AES than others because of their potential impact. For example, a motor vehicle workshop has an AES of 7, whereas a concrete batching plant has an AES of 30.

Refer to Council’s fees and charges for further information about your ERA’s annual fee and AES.

Making an application for an ERA registration certificate

The Environmental Protection Act 1994 requires that any person carrying out an ERA must hold, or be acting under, a registration certificate for the activity. All operators are also required to have a development approval for the activity, unless a code of environmental compliance applies.

Previously, any environmental authority, other than a deemed approval, that was in force immediately before 4 October 2004 was treated as a development approval and registration certificate. However, all environmental authorities and deemed approvals have now expired and if a deemed approval you are required to apply for a Registration Certificate.

Application for Registration for New Activities

A person must apply to be a registered operator to carry out one or more ERAs, including for example:

  • One or more ERAs at a single premise,
  • One or more ERAs at two or more premises.

An application for a registration certificate may be refused if the applicant is not a suitable person to be a registered operator having regard to the applicant’s environmental record.

Applications for Multiple Activities

If an application is being made for multiple activities at two or more premises on a single registration certificate, an additional attachment to the registration application form must be submitted to demonstrate that these activities will be managed as part of a single integrated operation.

You will be advised of the decision to grant a single registration certificate or multiple registration certificates.

When applying for multiple activities as a single integrated operation, the fee payable is the application fee plus the highest annual fee of the activities being applied for. If Environmental Health Services decides to grant more than one registration certificate the additional fees will be advised.

Application for Continuing Registration (eg Transfer due to sale of business) 

If you are taking over a business from an existing operator, you will need to indicate on the registration application form that you are applying for a continuing registration. In addition to the standard details on the registration form, the details and signatures of the new operator and the existing operator will be required.

It is a requirement that the existing operator notify the buyer of the need to hold a registration certificate.

It is also recommended that you conduct a business search to determine if there are any outstanding requisitions or outstanding fees owed by the business.

How to cancel/surrender a ERA registration certificate

You are required to surrender your registration certificate if you have closed down and no longer operate the ERA activities as listed on your registration certificate.

There are no fees associated with this form and you can submit your completed application form to the Environment and Health section. In your application, you will need to include details demonstrating that the site was left in a environmentally sound state and that you complied with the conditions of your Development Approval.

The original Registration Certificate should be attached to this application.

Annual Returns

At least 22 business days before each anniversary day for the registration certificate, Burdekin Shire Council is required to give the registration certificate holder an annual notice requiring the holder to pay the annual fee and to complete an annual return. Should you require assistance please contact the Environment and Health section.

Additional Information

  • Please contact the Environment and Health section for further information.
  • Copies of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 and associated legislation can be found at the Queensland Legislation website.
  • If your ERA is not devolved to the Burdekin Shire Council, contact the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection or obtain more information from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection website.

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