New Minister Streamlines Environmental Assessment Process

New Minister Streamlines Environmental Assessment Process

Western Australia Minister for Environment John Day

New Reforms Streamline Environmental Assessments

Victor P Taffa

A New Opportunity for the Public to comment on significant proposals referred to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) will be available as part of a suite of reforms to Environmental Assessments which come into effect today.

Environment Minister John Day said the new legislative, administrative and funding arrangements would allow for early community input on key proposals and a clearer, streamlined assessment process.

“The State Government has been steadily implementing reforms that deliver on our commitment to an effective, efficient and rigorous environmental approvals process.” Mr. Day said.

The Minister said the Approvals and Related Reforms (No1) (Environment) Bill, which comes into effect today, removes duplication in environmental assessments’ appeals.



“I am also announcing today additional funding of $7 Million over the next four years to boost the capacity of the State’s environment agencies to undertake environmental assessments and world’s best practice Regulation.”

Mr. Day said on-line public comment on the EPA’s revamped website, which will be available from Monday, would make it easier for people across the State to have a say on whether a project should be assessed and, if so, at what level.

“This opportunity will be introduced on the website to coincide with new EPA administrative procedures which also take effect today.” the Minister said.

The Minister said the new comment period would allow the public to have a say before the EPA sets its level of assessment.

EPA Chairman Paul Vogel said the authority’s new administrative procedures incorporated key reforms to the environmental impact assessment process.

As part of the administrative changes, the EPA had simplified its five options for the level of assessment of significant proposals to two, making the process simpler and more transparent for the public and proponents.

“Complex assessments will be subject to the most rigorous scrutiny through a full Public Environmental Review (PER).  This involves the proponent releasing a detailed document for a period of Public Comment.” Dr. Vogel said.

“The EPA will assess how the issues have been dealt with, including the public comments, and then provide a recommendation to the Minister as to whether the proposal should proceed and, if so, under what conditions.”