Environmental Approvals Bilateral Agreement

The final bilateral agreement will contain a list of West Australian processes accredited by the Federal Minister of the Environment. These processes are called “accredited processes.” Proposed measures under an accredited procedure do not require separate removal, assessment or approval from the Australian government. This route could apply to a controlled measure that must also be subject to a plan modification procedure before a use, building or work can be authorized in accordance with Victorian law. If this path is considered an appropriate process as part of the bilateral procedure, the Minister of Planning, in consultation with the relevant authority and the planning bodies in Victoria, appoints an advisory committee. Several changes have been made to NSW legislation in 2017. The Conservation Biodiversity Act 2016 (BC Act) was introduced and amendments were made to the 1979 Environmental Planning and Assessment ACT. The original agreement was amended to reflect these changes and further streamline environmental assessments. The objective of the agreement is to avoid double evaluations of evaluation processes by giving Victoria the opportunity to assess proposals that the Commonwealth has defined as “controlled measures” that are expected to have a significant impact on the environment. The Commonwealth will continue to make the approval decision under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), which is based on the assessment report prepared by the Victorian Decision-Making Authority Officer. The bilateral assessment agreement allows the state to conduct environmental assessments on behalf of the Commonwealth, eliminating duplication, including the need for a separate Commonwealth assessment. The bilateral agreement replaces the previous agreement and expands the range of accredited state procedures to the following nine evaluation avenues: Memorandum of Understanding for the development of a draft bilateral evaluation agreement (PDF – 112.33 KB) Communication on the intention to develop a draft bilateral evaluation agreement. (DOCX – 23.36 KB) On December 13, 2016, the Government of Western Australia conducted an environmental impact assessment (Part IV Divisions 1 and 2) administrative procedures 2016 under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (AV).

These legislative changes have resulted in the current bilateral evaluation agreement with the Government of Western Australia in 2014 no longer covers certain proposals normally evaluated bilaterally by the state.

Comments are closed.