Strategic Assessment Prospectus
About this Prospectus
Strategic planning that considers both development and ecological needs on a landscape scale has the potential to deliver increased regulatory efficiency, business certainty and better protection of matters of national environmental significance. The existing strategic assessment work program has already demonstrated positive outcomes on all of these fronts for business, the environment and community.
While there is a significant amount of work being undertaken to deliver the strategic assessments currently underway, the department is also seeking to plan its work beyond 2013 for the next phase of strategic assessments. This involves working with stakeholders to develop a plan for where the next strategic assessments should occur, and the prioritisation of these assessments.
Help inform future strategic assessment priorities
During 2013, the department is running an expression of interest process, inviting stakeholders to submit proposals for potential strategic assessments. The department will also be discussing potential assessment priorities with state and territory governments and other stakeholders during the course of 2013.
There are general characteristics that will assist in prioritising areas to be included in the strategic assessments work program. The strategic assessments completed to date demonstrate that strategic assessments deliver the greatest environmental, economic and social benefits, consistent with the objectives of the EPBC Act, by:
- targeting areas which are under development pressure and are anticipating a high number of referrals under the EPBC Act
- removing the need for future EPBC Act referrals in an area, particularly where large numbers of referrals can be avoided
- managing broad scale cumulative impacts on multiple matters of national environmental significance
- involving broad scale developments to stimulate significant local or regional economic activity
- aligning, in terms of timing, with state or territory processes, where assessment partners are also at an early stage of planning, and
- being supported and managed with senior level engagement, providing certainty for all investors and assessment partners.