Strategic Assessment Process for Streamlining Offshore Petroleum Environmental Approvals

Several independent reviews recommended streamlining the regulatory requirements of the EPBC Act and the OPGGS Act. These include:

Project Objectives

The streamlining project mapped out the requirements of the EPBC and OPGGS Acts resulting in a ‘one-stop-shop’ for petroleum environmental assessments to:

  • streamline the process for offshore environmental approvals to remove unnecessary duplication in regulatory processes;
  • save industry and environmental participants time;
  • endorse NOPSEMA as the single independent regulator for these issues; and
  • maintain high environmental standards.

Project Timeframes

  • The streamlining project was undertaken by a Taskforce comprised of officers from the Department of Industry, the Department of the Environment, and NOPSEMA, supported by technical experts.
  • The strategic assessment examined whether NOPSEMA’s environmental management authorisation process under the OPGGS Act provides for equivalent environmental outcomes as those achieved under the EPBC Act. This is captured in a Program and a Strategic Assessment Report.

The Program Report and the Draft Strategic Assessment Report

The Minister for Industry released the Program and draft Strategic Assessment report for public consultation on 22 November, 2013.

The 'Program' describes the OPGGS Act environmental management authorisation process for petroleum activities. The Strategic Assessment Report demonstrates how implementation of the Program ensures appropriate consideration and management of potential impacts on matters protected under Part 3 of the EPBC Act.

Consultation Period

The Program and draft Strategic Assessment Report were released for public consultation from 22 November until 20 December 2013.

In preparing comments interested parties were asked to have regard to the Terms of Reference set out in the Strategic Assessment Agreement and at Appendix 1 of the draft Strategic Assessment Report.

The Taskforce held information sessions in 2012 in Melbourne (25 November), Perth (26 and 27 November) and Canberra (29 November), Hobart (9 December) and Adelaide (11 December) that were attended by industry, environmental NGOs, government, members of the fishing industry and consultants.

Thirty eight submissions were received and arepublished below unless they were marked as Confidential.

Implementation

Transitional guidance is available on NOPSEMA’s website.

NOPSEMA’s Environment Division can be contact directly on 08 6188 8700.

Stakeholders who have queries about the status of existing or EPBC approvals can contact the Department of the Environment on 1800 803 772.

The following factsheets have been developed by the Taskforce to assist stakeholders during the implementation phase.

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