As the streamlining of environmental assessment and
project approval processes will reduce the opportunities to appeal
a decision, there could be increased scrutiny of the assessment and
Accrediting assessments: the parties agreed to
conclude, as soon as practicable in 2014, a comprehensive
assessment bilateral agreement to accredit WA to undertake a single
assessment process for both Commonwealth (Environment Protection
and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC
Act)) and WA purposes (Environmental Protection Act 1986
Accrediting approvals: the parties will pursue
a comprehensive approvals bilateral agreement to accredit WA to
undertake approvals under the EPBC Act - to be "agreed in
principle" by the end of April 2014, and concluded by 18
Administrative streamlining: WA will continue
its efforts to streamline its assessment and approval processes
while maintaining environmental standards and outcomes;
Use of strategic assessments: the parties
agreed to finalise the strategic assessment of the plan for the
protection of matters of national environmental significance in the
Perth and Peel regions under the EPBC Act.
Unique to the Commonwealth-WA MoU, the parties also agreed to
explore avenues that would allow WA to be accredited to undertake
strategic assessments, subsequently endorse policies, plans or
programs and approve the taking of an action or class of actions as
provided for under Part 10 of the EPBC Act.
While it is clear the measures outlined in the MoU aim to reduce
duplication in the environmental assessment and approval process,
they may have broader implications. Among other things, the
streamlining of environmental assessment and project approval
processes will reduce the opportunities to appeal a decision in
connection with a proposed project. This may, in turn, lead to
increased scrutiny of the assessment and approval processes
undertaken by the State.
Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide
commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon
as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular
transactions or on matters of interest arising from this bulletin.
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This legal update is an overview of existing eligible project activities and new project types proposed to be developed.
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