Dr Peter Burnett

Honorary Associate Professor
Room 6.2.1

home icon ANU College of Law, Bld 6, Fellows Rd, Acton ACT 2600

mail icon ANU College of Law, 5 Fellows Rd, Acton ACT 2600



Peter recently completed his PhD in environmental policy and law and has been appointed as an Honorary Associate Professor in the College of Law. From 2000 to 2013 he held a number of senior leadership positions in the Federal Department of Environment and worked on a diverse range of policy and regulatory issues including development of national pollution standards, Australia's international participation in chemical and waste issues, World and National Heritage, environmental impact assessment of major developments, and reform of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Before joining the Federal Department he was Environment Management Authority in the ACT.

Significant research publications

Burnett, P., 2018. Australia's National Approach to 'Ecologically Sustainable Development': Success in Principle, Failure in Policy, Still in Prospect. PhD Thesis, ANU Library, Canberra, available at <https://openresearch-repository.anu.edu.au/handle/1885/156800>.

Vardon, M., Burnett, P., Dovers, S., 2016. The accounting push and the policy pull: balancing environment and economic decisions. Ecological Economics 124, 145–152. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.01.021


Recent news

Ray and Reynolds
Students from ANU research and policy group GreenLaw have authored a research article examining public interest cases under the EPBC Act.
A climate activist holds a placard at a protest
GreenLaw aims to empower the next generation of lawyers and build a better planet.

Past events

Australia's National Environmental Law, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
1.00PM to 2.00PM ANU College of Law Research Seminar
  • Dr Peter Burnett

Join Dr Peter Burnett as he reflects on recent independent reviews of Australia’s most important single environmental law and the future of reform proposals in this fraught area of regulation and policy.

Peter Burnett
1.00PM to 2.30PM PhD oral presentation
  • Peter Burnett

Peter Burnett has been researching Australia’s national policies on Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD). 

Research biography

Peter is undertaking research in the fields of environmental public policy and regulation, including on the use of environmental information in devopment approvals and the role of environmental impact assessment (EIA) in environmental decision-making.

How my works connects with public policy

As a former senior official Peter has a special interest in contributing to developments in environmental policy and decision-making. In 2019 he has contributed to events associated with the release of an OECD Environmental Performance Review of Australia and is one of a group undertaking collaborative research with the Federal Environment Department into the use of environmental information in decision-making.

Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team