A new environmental impact assessment system will be implemented in the Northern Territory, following the passing of the state’s amended Environment Protection Bill 2019.
Environment Minister Eva Lawler said the bill provides new approaches to environmental protection including environmental offsets and protected environmental areas.
“We are replacing outdated legislation and practice, ensuring we are strengthening governance and accountability for environmental decisions, supporting local jobs and providing greater certainty for the community and business,” Ms Lawler said.
“Our natural environment is one of our best assets and a huge part of what makes living in the Territory so special, good environmental policy is smart economic policy.”
According to Ms Lawler, the Environment Protection Act 2019 establishes clearer guidance on when a project must be referred to assessment for its impact on the environment, and sets out the criteria, principles and considerations by which a project must be assessed.
“This means that projects which may have a significant impact on the Territory’s environment will undergo rigorous environmental assessment, informing the decision to grant (or not) an environmental approval,” Ms Lawler said.
“It also includes provisions to ensure proponents and approval holders comply with their obligations to minimise unauthorised harm to the environment. Another first and a significant step to strengthening the environment protection regime in the Territory.”