(1) In this section:
licensing function means a function of a local regulatory authority under this Act relating to a licence, including the function of determining whether to issue, transfer, amend, suspend or revoke a licence.
local regulatory authority means a regulatory authority other than the EPA.(2) The Minister may, if the Minister considers that it is expedient in the public interest to do so, direct a local regulatory authority in writing to refer to the EPA a specified licensing function in respect of a particular matter that the Minister considers is of State or regional significance.(3) The Minister may give a direction under this section whether or not the local regulatory authority intends to exercise the licensing function in respect of the matter.(4) The local regulatory authority must, as soon as practicable after receiving a direction under this section:(a) refer to the EPA any application, report or other document or information in the possession of the authority that relates to the matter (including any document or information specified by the Minister in the direction), and(b) notify the applicant or licensee concerned in the matter of the Minister’s direction.(5) Whenever the Minister gives a direction under this section, the local regulatory authority ceases to have the licensing function in respect of the matter, unless the Minister refers the licensing function (or any aspect of that function) back to the authority.(6) The EPA may, after the Minister has given a direction under this section, exercise in the place of the local regulatory authority the licensing function in respect of the matter.(7) For the purpose of the EPA exercising a licensing function in respect of a matter:(a) a reference to the local regulatory authority in any document is taken to be a reference to the EPA, and(b) anything done by the local regulatory authority in the matter before the direction was given may be adopted by the EPA.(8) The determination of the EPA in the exercise of the licensing function is taken to have been done by the local regulatory authority.(9) The local regulatory authority is to give effect to the decision made by the EPA pursuant to a direction under this section. However, the decision does not limit the future exercise of a licensing function by the local regulatory authority in respect of the matter.