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Site Classification Appeals


The Contaminated Sites Act 2003 (Act) and the Contaminated Sites Regulations 2006 (Regulations) provide for the identification, recording, management and remediation of contaminated sites.

A site that is known or suspected of being contaminated is required to be reported to the Department of Water and Environment Regulation (DWER) by the owner or occupier of the site, the person that caused the contamination, or an auditor engaged to report the site under the Act.  When a site is reported, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DWER is required to inquire into the report and classify the site based on the risk the contamination poses to human health and the environment.  For further information on the seven categories of site classification, click here.  

Who can appeal a site classification decision?

Section 18 of the Act specifies who is eligible to lodge a site classification appeal with the Contaminated Sites Committee (Committee).  See the list below:

  • Contaminated-remediation required - Owner/Occupier, Person responsible for remediation.

  • Contaminated-restricted use - Owner/Occupier, Person responsible for remediation.

  • Remediated for restricted use - Owner/Occupier, Person responsible for remediation.

  • Possibly contaminated - investigation required - Owner/Occupier.

  • Decontaminated - Owner/Occupier.

  • Not contaminated-unrestricted use - Owner/Occupier.

  • Report not substantiated - Person who reported the site.

If you are unsure about your eligibility to appeal against a site classification decision under the Act, you may wish to seek professional legal advice before proceeding.

How long do I have to lodge an appeal against a site classification?

An appeal must be lodged with the Committee within 21 days (or such later time specified in the DWER Notice of Classification).


What do I need to do?

Where do I lodge my appeal application? 

Contaminated Sites Committee 

Level 22 Forrest Centre
221 St Georges Terrace


What will it cost?

There is a fee of $45.00 to lodge an appeal with the Committee.


What happens next?

While the appeal is being determined, the classification against which you have appealed continues to apply.


When the Committee has received all the information in relation to a site classification appeal, the Committee must ask the CEO of DWER for a report on the appeal and may ask the CEO to consult the appellant to see if the issue can be resolved.  If the CEO and the appellant reach agreement that the classification should be changed, the Appellant can withdraw the appeal and the CEO changes the classification.   

Throughout the appeal process, the Committee may consult with the appellant and any other person it considers necessary.

In deciding the appeal the Committee may—

  • Uphold the original classification.

  • Substitute or vary the original classification.

  • Set aside the original classification and make a new classification.


The Committee provides a written notice of its decision to the appellant, CEO of DWER and any other affected persons involved in the appeal.

The Committee’s site classification appeal decision is final and without further appeal.  Under the Act, the CEO of DWER is required to give effect to the outcome of the appeal.


See the Appeal Decisions page for past Committee decisions.


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