If a 'coordinated project' has the potential to cause environmental, social or economic impacts, the project proponent must prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS).
The draft terms of reference (TOR) for the EIS are prepared by the Coordinator-General.
They set out the general and specific matters the project proponent must address when preparing the EIS.
Each project's draft TOR are prepared based on Generic draft TOR for resource projects ( 269 KB) or Generic draft TOR for non-resource projects ( 267 KB). Where necessary, the draft TOR are modified to ensure the proponent addresses the project's environmental impacts.
State government advisory agencies are invited to comment on whether the draft TOR adequately cover all the matters the project proponent must address when preparing the EIS.
In some instances, the Coordinator-General may also seek comments from the public.
Public notices inviting comments on the draft TOR are published in local, regional and state newspapers - national papers, too, if the project is a 'controlled action'.
Although the length of the consultation period is not legislatively prescribed, it typically runs for at least 20 business days, following the publication of the public notices.
The Coordinator-General is authorised to collect personal information under section 29 and Schedule 2 of the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 (SDPWO Act).
The department will provide the project proponent with a copy of your comments. Your personal information may also be disclosed to government agencies that are involved in the proposed project, and is also subject to disclosure under the Right to Information Act 2009.
Your personal information will be collected for the purpose of:
- considering your comments
- finalising the terms of reference
- completing the EIS process
- the performance of functions under the SDPWO Act and other legislation relevant to the proposed project.
Your personal information will not otherwise be disclosed, unless disclosure is authorised or required by law, or is permitted under the Information Privacy Act 2009.
Meetings with advisory agencies
During the consultation period, the Coordinator-General may arrange meetings between the project proponent and advisory agencies to:
- explain the EIS process, including the agencies' roles
- enable the proponent to outline the key elements of the project, its potential impacts and possible mitigation strategies
- solicit feedback from agencies on matters of interest or concern that should be addressed in the EIS.
Finalising the TOR
The Coordinator-General is required to finalise the TOR as soon as practicable after the consultation closes or, if the draft TOR were not publicly notified, as soon as practicable after advising the project proponent that an EIS is required.
There are fees associated with the finalisation of the TOR.
Revising the TOR
Terms of reference may be revised if:
- there are significant changes to the project concept or design
- significant new issues emerge during the preparation of the EIS.
Depending on the nature and extent of these changes, another round of comment by the advisory agencies may be required on the amendments required to the TOR.
Guideline for preparing EIS
In addition to the TOR, the project proponent is required to comply with a generic guideline for preparing an EIS ( 174 KB).