Scott Laidlaw

Scott is an environmental planner with extensive experience and skills in Australian environmental assessment and regulation. He has managed natural heritage species research projects, environmental assessments and heritage listing nominations with the Australian Government. He has experience in planning and implementation of Commonwealth policies relating to biodiversity conservation, vegetation management, exotic species regulation, national park management and marine protected areas. Scott also has extensive experience in Indigenous liaison and stakeholder consultation. Through biodiversity field work across Australia, he has gained ecological knowledge of the Australian marine, estuarine and terrestrial environments. Scott also has applied environmental experience in industry including in mining and commercial fisheries.

Qualifications, awards and affiliations

B.Sc. (Biology, Geology)

Member Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (MEIANZ)


Scott is highly experienced in relation to planning and implementation of Australian Government environmental policies and regulations. He has worked for the environmental department for 20 years working to implement the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), the Australian Biodiversity Conservation Strategy, the Native Vegetation Framework, and the National Environmental Science Programme. He has managed teams assessing places nominated for heritage places’ listing on the EPBC Act World, National and Commonwealth Heritage Lists. He has also worked within the Central Land Council’s mining section, the Australian Geological Survey Organisation, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, NSW Fisheries, and the Australian Museum.

Selected projects

Scott has achieved successful outcomes in a wide variety of roles, with twenty years’ experience working with the Commonwealths Environment Department and applying the EPBC Act. Successful project outcome examples include:

  • Personally preparing and finalising a series of 'emergency' EPBC Act National Heritage (NH) listing assessments, including one regarding the Victorian Alps.
  • Independently and successfully completed an EPBC Act compatible Environmental Impact Assessment checklist process for Kakadu National Park
  • Successfully managed procurement contracts for the Department of the Environment. Projects have ranged from National Environment Science Program (NESP) research, to National Vegetation Condition Monitoring Protocols, to Defence and Indigenous land biodiversity surveys conducted with expert biodiversity survey consultants
  • In a Secretariat policy role in the Departments’ Biodiversity Conservation Division, he co-facilitated the development of the Native Vegetation Framework (NVF) policy, which received ‘whole of government’ endorsement at COAG’s SCEW (Standing Council on Environment and Water) in 2012
  • In the Department’s Heritage Division, he successfully assessed multiple EPBC Act National Heritage List (NHL) nominations. Successful NH listing examples include the nationally outstanding Fitzgerald National Park biodiversity hotspot, the written assessment of which also broke new ground in assessing regional communities’ involvement in environmentally sustainable development land management.
  • Many sequential and productive ecological field surveys conducted in co-operation with the Defence Department on their properties at Ningaloo, Woomera and in the greater Perth region. These surveys help update Defence land Commonwealth Heritage listings, and also provided critical ecological management data to Defence’s land managers.


Biodiversity conservation
Commonwealth environment and heritage assessments
Community and stakeholder engagement
NRM program design and management