The Environmental Protection Authority has changed how it will communicate the Chair’s Determinations on referrals in an effort to better explain the process.
EPA Chair Dr Tom Hatton said community feedback had indicated that there was a perception a “Not Assess” decision on a referral meant there had been no serious consideration of a proposal.
“It has become increasingly clear to the EPA that we need to better communicate how we consider referrals on proposals and scheme amendments,” Dr Hatton said.
“A ‘Not Assess’ title does not accurately convey the level of examination we undertake in considering a referral, which often includes a thorough review of the referral, preliminary investigations and inquiries with government departments, local governments and proponents as well as consideration of public comments received throughout a public comment period.”
From today, ‘Not Assess’ will be replaced with “Referral examined, preliminary investigations and inquiries conducted. Proposal / Scheme Amendment not to be assessed under Part IV of EP Act. (Appealable/No Appeals)”.
The EPA often prepares public advice on referrals not formally assessed and this will continue to be published on the EPA’s website with the Chair’s Determinations each Monday.