Western Australia Minister for Environment Donna Faragher
New Procedures To Improve Environmental Assessments
Victor P Taffa
Western Australia Minister for Environment Donna Faragher has endorsed new procedures to streamline environmental assessments by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).
Under the changes, companies will be consulted on the conditions recommended for their development in a bid to improve the effectiveness of the conditions in protecting the environment.
Mrs. Faragher said these discussions would take place before the proposed conditions were submitted for her consideration.
“This move is about resolving technical deficiencies and other potential issues up front.” The Minister said.
“At the moment, the only avenue for proponents to raise issues with recommended conditions is through the appeals process.”
“Sometimes these appeals involve simple errors of fact, mistakes in interpretation or perceived difficulties with the implementation of a condition. These relatively simple matters will now be able to be resolved through the new consultation period.” Mrs. Faragher said.
The Minister said the initiative was part of the Liberal-National Government’s commitment to improving the environmental impact assessment process.
Mrs. Faragher said this was being done by improving the timeliness and effectiveness of the EPA’s functions by:
- Introduce outcome based conditions where appropriate;
- Use a risk-based assessment where applicable;
- Improve Project Tracking;
- Use greater rigour and consistency in the Scoping Phase;
- Focus more on Timelines;
- Provide more guidance to proponents to improve certainty, clarity and consistency.
“Collectively, these reforms are designed to achieve a thorough, clear, consistent and timely environmental impact assessment process that meets the expectations of the community.” Mrs. Faragher said.