In appropriate cases, the EPA can apply to the Court for a monetary benefit order (MBO) to be imposed on an offender as part of the sentencing package. MBOs strip offenders of the financial advantage they gained from breaking environmental laws. MBOs are made in addition to any other penalty the Court imposes for the crime (for example a fine, publication order, order to pay prosecutor’s legal costs).
MBOs provide a strong deterrent for possible future offenders and an incentive for operators to take proper precautions to protect the environment. They help level the playing field by ensuring that operators who do the right thing are not financially disadvantaged.
While the EPA has had this power since the introduction of the POEO Act, a robust and standardised approach to calculate and recover monetary benefits in appropriate cases will now be applied.
Guidelines on recovering monetary benefits from environmental offenders
The Guidelines on recovering monetary benefits (PDF 460KB) explain what monetary benefits are, when the EPA will seek monetary benefit orders, how the EPA will investigate and calculate monetary benefits and other details about the project.
Calculating monetary benefits
The EPA has engaged expert financial accountants to develop a Protocol for calculating monetary benefits (PDF 664KB) which describes the standard method to be used for the calculation.
The EPA also intends to formally prescribe this Protocol as the method for calculating monetary benefits in the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2009. More information will be provided once it is available.
The EPA has also released the NEAT Model (XLSX 1578KB), a user-friendly Excel model that enables non-accountants to run monetary benefit calculations. The NEAT Model was produced by financial accountants and is supported by a User Guide (PDF 1633KB). The NEAT Model uses the same method outlined in the Protocol.
The EPA welcomes feedback on the Protocol and the NEAT Model. However, these are technical documents and any technical feedback needs to be supported with a reference to the qualifications and experience which enable you to provide those comments. See the Guidelines on recovering monetary benefits (PDF 460KB) for more information.
Frequently asked questions
These frequently asked questions are a result of consultation with stakeholders at seminars and industry forums.