At the completion of the impact assessment process for a coordinated project, the Coordinator-General is required to write a report evaluating the environmental impact statement (EIS) or impact assessment report (IAR).
The report includes the Coordinator-General's evaluation of, and conclusions regarding, the project's environmental impacts and proposed mitigation measures.
In writing the report, the Coordinator-General takes into account the final EIS or the final IAR, which incorporate relevant information from:
- all properly made submissions
- other submissions accepted by the Coordinator-General
- comments and advice from government advisory agencies and other entities
- technical reports and other advice.
Approval/refusal of project
After considering all relevant information, the Coordinator-General recommends the project either:
- proceed subject to conditions and recommendations designed to ensure the project's environmental impacts are properly managed
- be refused on the grounds its environmental impacts cannot be adequately addressed.
The report is not an approval in itself. The conditions of approval stated in the report only gain legal effect when they are attached to a statutory approval given under other specific legislation.
The Coordinator-General's conditions of approval do not relieve the coordinated project proponent of its obligation to obtain all other necessary approvals.
Conditions of approval
The Coordinator-General's report on the EIS or IAR may state conditions that must be attached to a:
- development approval under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA)
- mining lease under the Mineral Resources Act 1989
- environmental authority (mining lease) under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act)
- petroleum lease, pipeline licence or petroleum facility licence under the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004
- non-code compliant environmental authority (petroleum activities) under the EP Act
- greenhouse gas injection and storage lease under the Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2009
- geothermal production lease under the Geothermal Energy Act 2010.
The report on the EIS or IAR may also recommend conditions and requirements relating to:
- a community infrastructure designation under the SPA
- approvals under other legislation that require the preparation of an EIS or a similar statement.
The Coordinator-General may also impose conditions on a project in the absence of a relevant statutory approval.
In July 2014, the Coordinator-General released Standardised outcome-focused conditions for resource projects ( 325 KB), a baseline set of conditions that the Coordinator-General may state or impose for large-scale resource developments. The document is intended to be general in nature and each project is assessed and conditioned on a case-by-case basis.
The Coordinator-General's report on the EIS or IAR is published on the department's website.
There are fees associated with the preparation of the Coordinator-General's report on the EIS or IAR.
The Coordinator-General's report on the EIS or IAR generally lapses three years after it is published.
The Coordinator-General may extend this time period before the report lapses.
The conditions of approval in the Coordinator-General's report on the EIS or IAR only gain legal effect when they are attached to a development approval given by an assessment manager under other specific legislation (e.g. the SPA). Project proponents are still required to obtain all other development approvals from local authorities (e.g. for a material change of use) and state government agencies (e.g. an environmental authority).
Assessment managers ultimately decide whether development approvals are granted for the project. These assessment managers:
- must attach the Coordinator-General's conditions to any development approval that is granted
- are not limited in their ability to refuse a project, even if the Coordinator-General's report on the EIS has recommended the project be approved
- can impose additional conditions on the development approval, provided they are not inconsistent with the conditions stated in the Coordinator-General's report.