To give regulators greater flexibility in improving compliance, the Department and local councils will have the ability to enter into enforceable undertakings with people acting on a development consent.
Enforceable undertakings enable breaches of the EP&A Act to be fixed, compensated or efficiently resolved. It is a faster and cheaper regulatory option than prosecuting the original breach of the consent and are a commonly used tool by NSW government agencies.
The Department will also develop guidance material to assist in employing this new tool.
Previously, proponents could be fined or taken to the Land and Environment Court and prosecuted for environmental and community harm. These options can either be insufficient (fines) or expensive and difficult to prosecute (court action). Enforceable undertakings are a modern and flexible compliance tool that make it easier to prosecute breaches in a way that is relevant and proportionate.
The changes to enforcement will commence from 1 March with guidance material to on their content and use to be developed by the Department for consultation with stakeholders during 2018.
For more information see A Handy Guide to the new Act which provides guidance and direction on the new provisions and how the Act has changed.
Page last updated: 25/02/2019