Licence application fee

The EPA has introduced a user pays fee for the assessment of an environment protection licence application and issue of any licence.

What is the licence application fee?

It is a fee paid by an applicant when they lodge a new licence application. It is based on the size and complexity of the activities that need to be licensed by the EPA. There are seven fee categories. The fee depends on the category the application falls into, which is determined by:  

  • whether the activity is mobile or site-based
  • the number of scheduled activities to be undertaken at a level that requires a licence,
  • the highest number of administration fee units for the activities that will be carried out, and/or
  • the type of planning approval required.

Once the category is known, an applicant can work out how much they need to pay (the licence application fee) by multiplying the number of fee units for the relevant category by the value of each unit (for 2022/2023 the fee unit is $146). The table below shows the fee categories, descriptions and fee amounts.

The application fee is due when an applicant lodges an environment protection licence application form with the EPA. Payments are made through eConnect, the EPA’s online licence portal.

Application fees apply to new licence applications submitted after 1 September 2022.

No fees apply to licence variations. 

Yes, the application fee is additional to and separate from the licence administrative fee. The licence application fee is submitted with the licence application. The administrative fee for the first licence fee period is payable when the EPA issues a licence. It covers the EPA’s on-going regulation of the licensed premises over the year and is an ongoing annual fee.

The application fee has been introduced to recover the EPA’s costs for assessing licence applications and activities such as developing and issuing licences and informing planning approvals. A planning approval is when an activity, building or infrastructure needs to be approved under the planning legislation (Environment Planning & Assessment Act 1979).

Prior to 1 September 2022, applicants paid for the first year’s administrative fee when lodging a licence application. This did not cover the EPA’s costs for assessing, determining and issuing a licence or advice the EPA provides to inform the planning approvals process – which happens before the licence application is lodged.

The fee units used to calculate the fee will change in line with inflation, usually this means fees increase slightly each year.

This application fee is only applicable to new licence applications submitted after 1 September 2022. If you already have a licence the application fee does not apply to you. However, if you chose to surrender your licence and then apply for a new one, this fee will apply at that time.

The EPA already receives an ‘approval fee’ for integrated development applications. To ensure the EPA is not double dipping, this fee amount is deducted from the application fee.

State Environment Protection Policies (SEPPs) can establish certain development as complying or exempt activities that would otherwise have been integrated or designated development. Any development that falls into these fee categories but are now being assessed as complying or exempt development will remain in the original fee categories for licence application fee purposes.

Similarly, any development that would have fallen into State Significant Development (SSD), State Significant Infrastructure (SSI) and Critical State Significant Infrastructure (CSSI) planning categories, but are now being assessed as complying or exempt development under a SEPP, will remain in the original fee categories for licence application fee purposes.

The EPA can issue licences for certain non-scheduled activities. If an application for a non-scheduled activity licence is received, the application fee payable is 37 fee units and must accompany the application.

Licence application fee categories and fee amounts – premises based

Fee category

Description

Fee Units

2022/23 Fee*

2023/24 Fee**

 

Straightforward

1 or 2 scheduled activities

AND

where the administrative fee units for the licensed activity is less than 50

37

$5,402

$5,550

 

Moderate

3 or more scheduled activities

OR

where the highest number of administrative fee units for any licensed activity is 50 or more

88

$12,848

$13,200

State Significant

SSD/SSI

AND

where the number of administrative fee units for the licence activity is less than 135

178

$25,988

$26,700

State Significant Large

SSD/SSI

AND

where the number of administrative fee units for the licence activity is greater than 135

223

$32,558

$33,450

Critical State Significant Infrastructure

CSSI

277

$40,442

$41,550

*based on an administrative fee unit value of $146

**based on an administrative fee value of $150

Licence application fee categories and fee amounts – non-premises-based

 

Fee Units

2022/23 Fee*

2023/24 Fee**

 

Transport of trackable waste

4

$584

$600

 

Mobile waste processing

41

$5,986

$6,150

*based on an administrative fee unit value of $146

**based on an administrative fee value of $150

Example of premises based application fee calculation

A licence application for ‘ceramics production’ at an annual production capacity of ‘more than 50,000 but not more than 200,000 tonnes’.

There is 1 scheduled activity to be listed on the licence. The administrative fee units for that scale of activity is 65 (refer Schedule 1 of the POEO Act). The application is classified as moderate (88 fee units). The application fee calculation is:

88 x $146 = $12,848

Where:

88 is the number of fee units for a ‘moderate’ application (refer section 21 of the POEO General Regulation 2022)

$146 is the 2022/23 fee unit value (refer section 18 of the POEO General Regulation 2022)