Independent Delegates recommend the Browse LNG Precinct strategic proposal may be implemented

Release date: 
October 26, 2015

The “implementation” conditions would be imposed on any future development at the site.

Chairman Gerard Early, Dr Tom Hatton and Glen McLeod assessed the Minister for State Development’s strategic proposal to designate a common-user LNG precinct to process up to 50 million tonnes per annum of gas from the Browse Basin near James Price Point in the Kimberley.

Mr Early said the strategic proposal identified port facilities, shipping channels, LNG processing facilities, pipeline crossings, infrastructure, a light industrial area, roads and worker accommodation area.

“The Delegates undertook the environmental impact assessment of the Browse LNG strategic proposal with fresh eyes, examining every part of this project thoroughly and methodically,” Mr Early said.

“Following a review of all the technical and scientific information available, including the proponent’s Strategic Assessment Report and all public submissions, as well as a site visit to James Price Point late last year where we met with representatives from the community, we have recommended a number of implementation conditions be imposed should future proposals identified in the strategic proposal be approved by the Minister for Environment.”

Mr Early said a number of environmental factors including the potential impacts on the marine environment, marine and terrestrial fauna, flora and vegetation, air quality and atmospheric emissions and heritage were assessed.

The Delegates’ suite of recommendations include a wide-range of surveys, management and monitoring plans, programs to avoid, where practicable, or minimise potential environmental impacts and measures to protect environmental values.

The Delegates’ report 1561 to the Minister for Environment will be open for a two-week public appeal period, closing November 9, 2015.

Appeals will be administered independently by the Appeals Convenor and determined by the Minister for Environment. The Minister will consult with other decision-making authorities and aim to reach an agreement as to whether the strategic proposal may be implemented or not.

The full report can be found at


  • The Delegates were tasked with assessing the proposal after the Supreme Court of Western Australia found the Environmental Protection Authority’s July 2012 report was invalid and that there had been no valid assessment under the Environmental Protection Act 1986. The EPA, with the Minister for Environment’s approval, delegated its powers to the three Delegates, who did not read the EPA’s previous assessment report or any of the decisions which followed.
  • The Delegates’ recommendation refers to the strategic proposal for the overall precinct. Any proponent wishing to develop in the area will need to refer their proposal to the EPA Delegates who will then determine if it is a “derived proposal”. This means that the approved conditions applied to the overall precinct can be applied to the derived proposal. Additional conditions may also be recommended. No potential derived proposal has been referred at this time.


  • Mr Gerard Early was awarded the Australian Public Service Medal in 2007 for service in the protection and conservation of Australia's natural environment and cultural heritage. He was Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Environment, before he retired to run his own consultancy in 2010. He has more than fifteen years’ experience in the management and implementation of environmental impact assessment. Mr Early is based in Canberra.
  • Dr Tom Hatton has more than 25 years of national and international research experience and was Group Executive of Energy at the CSIRO. In 2008, Dr Hatton was awarded the CSIRO’s Chairman’s Medal and the Australian Public Service Medal for his contribution to the management of Australia’s water resources. Dr Hatton joined the EPA in November 2014 and will begin his term as Chairman of the EPA on November 5, 2015.
  • Mr Glen McLeod is an internationally recognised lawyer with 38 years of experience in environmental, planning and government law, expertise in climate change and renewable energy sectors; ports, probity and procurement. Mr McLeod is an adjunct professor at Murdoch University and Chairs the Environment Health and Safety Committee of the International Bar Association. Mr McLeod was appointed to the EPA in October 2013.

Media Contact: Nadia Miraudo 0400 866 450 / Stacey Molloy 0437 861 315 (Fridays)

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