In August 2020 the Minister for Environment made a request to the EPA to provide strategic advice under Section 16(e) of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 on the potential cumulative impacts of the proposed activities and developments on the environmental, social and cultural values of Exmouth Gulf.
The EPA is now conducting a cumulative impact study into the current and proposed pressures on the Exmouth Gulf. The EPA will consider the values (environmental, social and cultural) as identified under the EP Act.
The EPA has partnered with the Western Australian Marine Science Institute (WAMSI) to help deliver its strategic advice.
The study involves engagement with stakeholders and the local community and will take into account a number of new and existing potentially significant proposals in and around the Exmouth Gulf. It is scheduled for completion by the end of June 2021.
Read the January 2021 Fact Sheet here.
Registration: Exmouth Gulf Community Meeting March 22
Purpose of the meeting
The EPA will facilitate a meeting for interested stakeholders and community members to inform its strategic advice on Exmouth Gulf. Attendance at the meeting is by advance registration.
The meeting will provide the EPA with an opportunity to listen to people’s information. As such, this is not an occasion for public debate, and is designed to facilitate a frank and safe environment for all stakeholders to share their information with the EPA.
Community meeting details
Venue: Ningaloo Function Centre, Exmouth
Date: Monday, 22 March 2021
Time: 1pm (To be confirmed)
Registrations close: Tuesday, 2 February 2021
- While the EPA will aim to accommodate as many attendees as possible, those living and working in the Exmouth region will be given priority to attend. Attendance will be subject COVID-19 restrictions at the time.
- The meeting will be in the form of small table groups, each with at least one EPA representative. This is to provide the greatest opportunity for every attendee to directly present their information and ensure it is noted and fully understood by the EPA.
- The EPA insists on respectful behaviour at the meeting. This is a meeting for neither debate nor advocacy, nor the resolution of potentially conflicting information among participants.
- Recordings will not be allowed. This is to encourage all attendees to speak frankly, openly and safely, and to protect their privacy.
- Information provided through the public meeting will, however, become a matter of record. The name and contact details of every person who registers to attend will not be published.
Public engagement to-date
The EPA undertook a three-week consultation process to help inform its Exmouth Gulf strategic advice in October 2020 and received 321 submissions and completed 28 interviews.
Overwhelmingly, the EPA was impressed with the knowledge and information provided over the three weeks. The local community embraced the consultation process with many submissions from people who identified as Exmouth locals.
Exmouth Gulf is clearly an important and significant place for many Western Australians and this was reflected in the feedback.
Ahead of finalising its strategic advice, the EPA will publish all submissions, with contact details redacted.
Is this a chance to comment on specific proposals planned for the region?
No. This consultation is about collating the community’s view on the current and proposed pressures facing the Exmouth Gulf and how these pressures may impact on the area’s environmental, social and cultural values.
How many submissions did the EPA receive during the three-week consultation period?
Will you be publishing the submissions?
Yes. The EPA is still working through the submissions, and expects to publish all the submissions, along with a high-level summary of submissions document by mid-March 2021.
What common issues or themes have come through the consultation so far?
So far, feedback provided through the consultation has reflected the values associated with the natural environment and the region as a whole by a wide range of interested stakeholders, including a large number of submissions from local Exmouth residents.
How does the termination of the Subsea 7 proposal impact the EPA’s strategic advice?
The termination of the Subsea 7 proposal has no impact on the EPA’s strategic advice process.
Will the EPA’s strategic advice provide an assessment or advice on the Gascoyne Gateway proposal?
No. The strategic advice, under section 16e of the Environmental Protection Act 1986, is intended to provide the Western Australian Government with an improved understanding of the context against which the impacts of new proposals can be assessed.
Has the EPA ever provided government with advice under s.16(e) before?
Yes, most recently in 2017. In June 2016, the then Minister for Environment requested the EPA provide advice on the size of a land use planning buffer relating to health and amenity impacts of dust, now and into the future, in respect of potential urban development in the Mandogalup area. The request stemmed from the previous Government’s consideration of establishing legislation to control new sensitive land uses in the vicinity of the Kwinana industrial area.