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Prior to the commencement of an SRL project, an SRL proponent must provide the Minister an SRL project outline.

Under s.3 of the Environment Effects Act, the Minister may declare an SRL project public works when the Minister is satisfied that the SRL project could reasonably be considered to have, or to be capable of having, a significant effect on the environment. If declared public works, the proponent must prepare an EES for the SRL project.

If the Minister does not declare the SRL project public works, other statutory processes will apply.

2.1 SRL project outline

The SRL project outline should provide enough information to inform the Minister’s consideration of whether to declare the SRL works as public works.

An SRL project should be described in its entirety wherever possible, including initial works and interaction with previous SRL projects. The rationale for excluding initial works from the public works declaration and the potential interaction of the works with future SRL projects (to the extent that early planning of future SRL stages allows) should also be included.

General aspects of project

  • Particulars of the proponent: including the name and contact details of the key contact person and the industry and environmental expertise available to the proponent.
  • Description of the project: including its name, objectives, components, site layout, construction and operational activities. Initial works that are directly related to the current project should be documented.
  • Description of the proposed site or area of investigation: including location (identified on a map).
  • Land availability: proponent’s current and intended tenure over or access to the proposed project area.
  • Alternatives: key locational, scale or design alternatives already investigated or to be considered as part of the investigation of the project.
  • Required approvals: known or potential approvals required under state legislation as well as under Commonwealth legislation, and names of agency personnel with whom the project has been discussed.
  • Project implementation: including the intended timeframe and proposed staging.

Preliminary environmental information

  • Existing environment: overview of the project setting (topography, drainage, vegetation, land use and physical features) and its environmental assets, as well as the sources and accuracy of this information.
  • Potential effects: identification of potential environmental effects (adverse and beneficial), including
    • brief description of potential environmental effects resulting from the SRL works
    • brief description of potential cumulative environmental effects resulting from the SRL works and SRL works undertaken in other projects, as understood at the time of preparing the SRL project outline
    • a precis of the available information on, and a preliminary assessment of, the significance of potential environmental effects
    • the sources and uncertainties of this information.

Investigation program

  • Study program: environmental studies conducted to date by the proponent and any proposed future study program.
  • Consultation plan: consultation conducted to date (including activities and stakeholders) by the proponent and any proposed future plan.

2.2 Procedures and requirements

If declared, the project will be listed on the Planning website and the Minister will issue specific procedures and requirements for the EES as part of the public works order.

The procedures and requirements will include (as appropriate):

  • potential environmental effects that should be subject to in-depth investigation as part of the EES
  • scoping procedures that are to apply
  • quality assurance procedures to be adopted, including the need for expert peer review
  • a requirement for a consultation plan to be prepared and implemented
  • requirements for advertising and exhibiting scoping requirements, the EES, as well as other information relating to the assessment process.

The Minister may also specify initial works that do not require investigation as part of the EES.

Page last updated: 26/06/24