EPBC Act public comment process

Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), Commonwealth approval is required for any projects or development proposals that may have an impact on matters of national significance. Where applicable, this federal environmental approval is required in addition to state and territory and local government approvals.

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) is responsible for managing the environmental assessment and approval process under the EPBC Act. This national environmental law is in place to make sure that ‘nationally significant’ animals, plants, habitats and heritage places as defined by the Australian Government are identified, and any potential negative impacts on them are carefully considered, before changes in land use or new developments are approved. 

Creation of a new community at North Stoneville townsite as proposed through Structure Plan 34 does require federal approval under the EPBC Act. As part of this process, individuals and organisations were invited to review the environmental reports submitted to DAWE and submit written public comment on the published material.

The public comment period closed at 5pm WST, Friday 2 October 2020. All comments will be provided to the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. Public comments and Satterley’s responses to them are then required to be made publicly available for a period of 10 business days. 

It is important to note that the assessment under the EPBC Act is limited to the consideration of environmental matters that are nationally significant and cannot respond to comments on other items associated with this project.