Why the Support is Provided?
This service is provided to encourage businesses in Queensland to understand the reasoning behind, and operate in accordance with the Queensland Governments policies and procedures for development assessment and environmental planning. The focus is on achieving protection of the environment in Queensland and practice environmental management and compliance in accordance with ecologically sustainable development principles.
What Support is Provided?
The Department of Environment and Science provides technical assistance in relation to environmental planning and impact assessment matters in Queensland through its free pre-design conferencing service. Business is encouraged to formally apply to the Department for a pre-design conference at which Departmental officers will contribute to the screening, scoping, assessing and reviewing of proposals, offer technical and procedural advice and explain the decisions required under various statutes.
Where proposals require no formal impact assessment, technical advice may still be provided.
Where development and approval applications require consideration by the Queensland Government, the Department will often be a concurrence agency but may be the assessment manager pursuant to the Sustainable Planning Act 2009, subject to certain conditions. The State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 enables the Coordinator-General to designate, significant projects and to require such projects to be subject to an environmental impact statement. Assessment through an environmental impact statement process may alternatively be required under the Sustainable Planning Act, administered by the Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs.
The Environmental Protection Act 1994 deals with the environmental approvals for the management of environmentally relevant activities (as defined in the Act) mining, gas and petroleum projects, including procedures for applications and their assessment. The Department is responsible for coordinating the assessment process including any requirements for an environmental impact statement under this Act.
The Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) (Cwealth) may trigger Commonwealth decisions. The EPBC Act provides for environmental assessment and approval of actions that are likely to have significant impact on matters of national environmental significance as well as actions involving Commonwealth land, and actions undertaken by Commonwealth agencies. EPBC Act Policy Statements assist people to determine whether an action they are proposing to undertake should be referred to the Commonwealth Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities for a decision on whether environmental assessment and approval is required under the EPBC Act. A bilateral agreement is in place between the Commonwealth and the Queensland government to streamline the assessment process.