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The draft guidelines are were available for comment until 1 September 2017. The proposed changes and the relevant guideline/s where the changes are outlined are identified below.

 

Develop a consistent framework to scope the Environmental Impact Statement.

Proposed changes include:

  • a meeting between the proponent (or applicant) and Department to confirm the approach to scoping and engagement with the community and other stakeholders at the earliest phase
  • the creation of a framework for proponents to identify the relevant issues to be addressed in the EIS and for the Department to establish Secretary's Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs)
  • proponent led engagement during scoping to identify the issues of potential impact and interest to the community and other stakeholders.

 

See:

 

Earlier and better engagement

Proposed changes include:

  • greater effort on scoping and early engagement to increase the opportunity for shared understanding of the issues that are important to the Department, agencies and community
  • scoping report to describe the approach to engagement during the EIS preparation phase, including how concerns raised by the community during scoping will be addressed
  • SEARs to require a community and stakeholder engagement strategy to outline the engagement that will be undertaken during the preparation of the EIS
  • requiring proponents and decision-makers to inform the community on how their views have been used or considered, or if not why not
  • clarity on what EIA documentation will be publicly available at all phases
  • description of EIA and how the community can be involved.

 

See:

 

Improve the consistency and quality of EIA documents

Proposed changes include:

  • all elements of the project to be described in one location in an EIS, the project description chapter, to make it easier for the community, and assessment and compliance officers to understand the project
  • conditions of consent to refer to the project as described in the project description chapter
  • requiring proponents to update the project when the project is changed, either in response to submissions, or as part of project modifications following approval
  • a requirement for a summary of the project’s impacts and mitigation measures to be captured in one place and in a form that is easy to understand
  • clearer and more consistent presentation of the issues that have been raised in submissions and the responses to these issues in the submissions report.

 

See:

 

Set a standard framework for conditioning projects

Proposed changes include:

  • establishing a number of principles to inform conditions
  • a standard approach to developing recommended conditions of consent
  • a framework which sets out the circumstances in which the following condition types would be appropriate:
    • performance-based
    • prescriptive
    • management-based
  • preference for performance-based conditions over prescriptive and management-based conditions
  • guidance on the drafting of mitigation measures so they are presented in the EIS in a format that aligns with one of the condition categories.

 

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Improve the approach to peer review

Proposed changes include:

  • establishing a consistent methodology for independent peer review
  • criteria to determine the suitably of a peer reviewer, how the peer review is undertaken and reported and post-approval requirements.

See:

 

Project change processes following approval

Proposed changes include:

  • ongoing provision of information to the community and other stakeholders about project changes through construction and operation
  • guidance on when project change should be considered a modification and the requirement to engage the community and other stakeholders about proposed modifications
  • requirement to update the project description in response to the modification.

See:

 

Page last updated: 30/05/2018