Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 No 203
Division 2 Environmental assessment and approval of infrastructure
115W Minister’s approval required for State significant infrastructure
(1) A person is not to carry out development that is State significant infrastructure unless the Minister has approved of the carrying out of the State significant infrastructure under this Part.(2) The person is to comply with any conditions to which such an approval is subject.
115X Application for approval of State significant infrastructure
(1) The proponent may apply for the approval of the Minister under this Part to carry out State significant infrastructure.Note.Section 380AA of the Mining Act 1992 provides that an application in respect of State significant infrastructure for the mining of coal can only be made by or with the consent of the holder of an authority under that Act in respect of coal and the land concerned.(2) The application is to:(a) describe the infrastructure, and(b) contain any other matter required by the Secretary.(3) The application is to be lodged with the Secretary.
115Y Environmental assessment requirements for approval
(1) When an application is made for the Minister’s approval for State significant infrastructure, the Secretary is to prepare environmental assessment requirements in respect of the infrastructure.(2) For the purposes of the environmental assessment, the environmental assessment requirements must require an environmental impact statement to be prepared by or on behalf of the proponent in the form prescribed by the regulations.(3) In preparing the environmental assessment requirements, the Secretary is to consult relevant public authorities and have regard to the need for the requirements to assess any key issues raised by those public authorities.(4) The Secretary is to notify the proponent of the environmental assessment requirements. The Secretary may modify those requirements by further notice to the proponent.
115Z Environmental assessment and public consultation
(1) The proponent is to submit to the Secretary the environmental impact statement required under this Division for approval to carry out the State significant infrastructure.(2) The Secretary may require the proponent to submit a revised environmental impact statement to address the matters notified to the proponent.(3) The Secretary must make the environmental impact statement publicly available for at least the minimum exhibition period prescribed by the regulations. The minimum exhibition period prescribed by the regulations must not be less than 30 days.(4) During that period, any person (including a public authority) may make a written submission to the Secretary concerning the matter.(5) The Secretary is to provide copies of submissions received by the Secretary or a report of the issues raised in those submissions to:(a) the proponent, and(b) if the State significant infrastructure will require an environment protection licence under Chapter 3 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997—the Public Service agency responsible to the Minister for the Environment, and(c) any other public authority the Secretary considers appropriate.(6) The Secretary may require the proponent to submit to the Secretary:(a) a response to the issues raised in those submissions, and(b) a preferred infrastructure report that outlines any proposed changes to the State significant infrastructure to minimise its environmental impact or to deal with any other issue raised during the assessment of the application concerned.(7) If the Secretary considers that significant changes are proposed to the nature of the State significant infrastructure, the Secretary may make the preferred infrastructure report available to the public.
115ZA Secretary’s environmental assessment report
(1) The Secretary is to give a report on the State significant infrastructure to the Minister for the purposes of the Minister’s consideration of the application for approval to carry out the infrastructure.(2) The Secretary’s report is to include:(a) a copy of the proponent’s environmental impact statement and any preferred infrastructure report, and(b) any advice provided by public authorities on the State significant infrastructure, and(c) a copy of any report or advice of the Planning Assessment Commission in respect of the State significant infrastructure, and(d) any environmental assessment undertaken by the Secretary or other matter the Secretary considers appropriate.
115ZB Giving of approval by Minister to carry out project
(1) If:(a) the proponent makes an application for the approval of the Minister under this Part to carry out State significant infrastructure, andthe Minister may approve or disapprove of the carrying out of the State significant infrastructure.(b) the Secretary has given his or her report on the State significant infrastructure to the Minister,(2) The Minister, when deciding whether or not to approve the carrying out of State significant infrastructure, is to consider:(a) the Secretary’s report on the infrastructure and the reports, advice and recommendations contained in the report, and(b) any advice provided by the Minister having portfolio responsibility for the proponent, and(c) any findings or recommendations of the Planning Assessment Commission following a review in respect of the State significant infrastructure.(3) State significant infrastructure may be approved under this Part with such modifications of the infrastructure or on such conditions as the Minister may determine.
115ZC Biobanking—special provisions
(1) The Minister may approve State significant infrastructure subject to a condition that requires the proponent to acquire and retire (in accordance with Part 7A of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995) biodiversity credits of a number and class (if any) specified by the Minister in the approval. This subsection applies whether or not a biobanking statement under Part 7A of that Act was obtained in respect of the infrastructure.(2) The Minister may approve an arrangement under which:(a) the retirement of some or all of the biodiversity credits is deferred pending the completion of any rehabilitation or restoration action proposed to be taken on the site of the State significant infrastructure, after the infrastructure has been substantially completed, that will restore or improve the biodiversity values affected by the infrastructure, and(b) the biodiversity credits the retirement of which is deferred pending the completion of those actions are required to be transferred to the Minister administering the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.(3) Division 7 of Part 7A of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 applies in respect of any such arrangement as if it were a deferred retirement arrangement approved under that Division.(4) If a biobanking statement was obtained in respect of State significant infrastructure, the Minister may approve the infrastructure subject to a condition that requires the proponent to comply with any conditions of the biobanking statement.Note.The conditions of a biobanking statement may require the proponent to retire biodiversity credits in respect of the infrastructure in order to ensure that it maintains or improves biodiversity values, or to carry out other onsite measures to minimise any negative impact of the infrastructure on biodiversity values.(5) A person cannot appeal to the Court in respect of a condition imposed by the Minister under subsection (4).