Project approvals and conditions

All applications for major coal seam gas (CSG) production, gas pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing plant projects are subject to a strict assessment and approvals process through an environmental impact statement (EIS) process.

The EIS may be carried out under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 or through the Environmental Protection Act 1994.

A regional interests development approval (RIDA) may also be required where a resource activity is proposed in an area of regional interest. Find out more about applying for a RIDA under the Regional Planning Interests Act 2014.

Three projects have already achieved conditional approval from this process with numerous conditions imposed on each.

The EIS must include an environmental management plan that identifies potential impacts on the surrounding environment, and proposes actions to minimise and manage those impacts.

At the end of the EIS process, projects may be granted an environmental authority (EA) that includes conditions to protect the environment and minimise environmental harm.

The government has a compliance program in place to monitor industry compliance with environmental standards.

Small-scale CSG operations or exploration activities may not require an EIS but still undergo assessment by qualified and experienced assessment staff and public notification processes as part of the EA process required before operations can start.

CSG applications may also need to be referred to the Australian Government for assessment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cwlth). The Australian Government can impose conditions on the project to protect specific matters of national environmental significance. All of the approved CSG-LNG projects to date have been subject to this process and can be referenced in the Coordinator General's report for each individual project.

Local government approvals are required for any project component located outside the petroleum and pipeline tenure.

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