(1) In this section:
licence means a licence, approval or other authority under the environment protection legislation.
licensing function means a function of the Authority under the environment protection legislation relating to a licence, including the function of determining whether to issue, transfer, amend, suspend or revoke a licence.(2) The Minister may, if the Minister considers that it is expedient in the public interest to do so, direct the Authority in writing to refer to the Minister a specified licensing function in respect of a particular matter.(3) The Minister may give a direction under this section whether or not the Authority intends to exercise the licensing function in respect of the matter.(4) The Authority must, as soon as practicable after receiving a direction under this section:(a) refer to the Minister 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 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 Minister may, after giving a direction under this section, exercise in the place of the Authority the licensing function in respect of the matter.(7) For the purpose of the Minister exercising a licensing function in respect of a matter:(a) a reference to the Authority in the environment protection legislation or other document is taken to be a reference to the Minister, and(b) anything done by the Authority in the matter before the direction was given may be adopted by the Minister.
The determination of the Minister in the exercise of the licensing function is taken to have been done by the Authority.(8) However, an appeal to the Land and Environment Court against a decision of the Authority in the exercise of a licensing function that is conferred by the environment protection legislation does not lie if the decision is made by the Minister pursuant to a direction under this section.(9) The Authority is to give effect to the decision made by the Minister pursuant to a direction under this section. However, the decision does not limit the future exercise of a licensing function by the Authority in respect of the matter.