Environmental assessments and conditions

Coal seam gas (CSG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) operators must be issued with a range of approvals from the Queensland Government before they can start construction and/or activities.

The Queensland Government has introduced an adaptive environmental management regime. This allows for the alteration of environmental conditions placed on a project on the basis of new information and/or research as it becomes available.

Environmental impact statement

Proponents of coordinated projects (i.e. projects of economic, social and/or environmental significance to Queensland) must submit a comprehensive environmental impact statement (EIS).

The EIS process for coordinated projects is overseen by Queensland's Coordinator-General under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 (SDPWO Act). Proponents of coordinated projects that do not require an EIS under the SDPWO Act can conduct an EIS through the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation (DESI). Both EIS processes include extensive public consultation and review periods.

Even after an EIS has been approved, there are a number of additional approvals the project proponent must obtain in order to commence work - for example, an environmental authority issued through DESI, or a regional interests development approval (RIDA) issued through the Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs (DLGRMA).

Environmental authority (EA)

When applying for an EA, applicants are required to provide an assessment of the potential environmental impacts of the activity and outline strategies to avoid or mitigate those impacts. This can occur through one of the EIS processes outlined above or as technical information attached to the application. Where potential risks or impacts are identified, approval conditions are set in the EA to ensure that the activity is managed sustainably and responsibly.

These conditions are monitored and enforced with a compliance program consisting of inspections, audits and compliance response.

The compliance program ensures industry activities are lawful and performed to a high standard.

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 companies can be prosecuted for serious breaches of EA conditions, and clean-up and remediation requirements can be imposed.

Read more about complying with an EA.

Regional Planning Interests Act 2014

A regional interests development approval (RIDA) may be required when a resource or regulated activity is proposed in an area of regional interest.

The 4 areas of regional interest identified in the Regional Planning Interests Act 2014 are:

  • Priority Living Areas (PLAs)
  • Priority Agricultural Areas (PAAs)
  • Strategic Cropping Areas (SCAs), and
  • Strategic Environmental Areas (SEAs).

Learn more about areas of regional interest and the Regional Planning Interests Act and Regulation.

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