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ENVIRONMENT EFFECTS (AMENDMENT) BILL 2005

         Environment Effects (Amendment) Bill

                        Introduction Print

              EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM


                              Clause Notes
Clause 1   sets out the purpose of the Bill which is to amend the
           Environment Effects Act 1978 to improve the operation of that
           Act.

Clause 2   provides for the commencement of the Bill. The Bill comes into
           effect on a day to be proclaimed with a forced commencement
           date of 1 January 2007.

Clause 3   substitutes the definition of "Secretary" in the Environment
           Effects Act 1978. It also repeals section 2(2) of that Act, which
           is consequential to that substitution.

Clause 4   substitutes the word "order" in section 3(2) with the word
           "Order". It also inserts a new section 3(3) into the Environment
           Effects Act 1978. This new provision requires the Minister to
           specify in an Order under section 3(1) the procedures and
           requirements under the guidelines that are to apply to a statement
           for the works.

Clause 5   repeals section 4(4) of the Environment Effects Act 1978, the
           matter now being covered by new section 8G of that Act inserted
           by clause 7 of the Bill.

Clause 6   substitutes section 5 of the Environment Effects Act 1978.
           Section 5 provides that the Minister may at any time call for a
           supplementary environment effects statement.
           Sub-section (2) provides that the proponent must cause the
           supplementary statement to be prepared and submitted to the
           Minister.
           Sub-section (3) requires the proponent to provide a copy of the
           supplementary statement to be submitted to the relevant Minister.




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551217                                      BILL LA INTRODUCTION 5/10/2005

 


 

Sub-section (4) provides that the supplementary statement is to be prepared and submitted at the expense of the proponent of the works. Clause 7 substitutes a new section 8 and inserts new sections 8A, 8B, 8C, 8D, 8E, 8F and 8G into the Environment Effects Act 1978. New section 8 provides for the seeking of advice of the Minister as to whether a statement is required for works. Sub-section (1) enables any person or body (the "relevant decision-maker") required to make a decision under any Act or law in respect of works that could have a significant effect on the environment to seek the advice of the Minister as to whether a statement should be prepared. Sub-section (2) provides that the relevant decision-maker must seek the advice of the Minister under sub-section (1) if requested to do so by the Minister responsible for the administration of the Act or law under which the decision is made. Sub-section (3) enables a proponent of works that may have a significant effect on the environment to seek the advice of the Minister as to whether a statement should be prepared for those works. Sub-section (4) enables the Minister, where the Minister considers that a decision is required under an Act or law in respect of works that could have a significant effect on the environment, to require by notice in writing the person or body required to make the decision (the "relevant decision-maker") to refer the matter to the Minister for advice on whether a statement should be prepared for the works. New section 8A provides that the Minister may notify decision- makers to put decisions on hold in respect of works until the Minister has provided advice as to whether a statement should be prepared for those works. New section 8B provides for what the Minister may do after advice has been sought and for the Minister to notify persons of his or her decision. Sub-section (1) provides that new section 8B applies if a matter comes to the Minister for advice as to whether a statement should be prepared. Sub-section (2) provides that the Minister may require a decision- maker or proponent to provide information to assist the Minister to decide whether a statement should be prepared. 2

 


 

Sub-section (3) requires the Minister to decide-- that a statement should be prepared; or that a statement is not required if specified conditions are met; or that no statement is required. Sub-section (4) provides what the Minister must do on making a decision as to whether a statement should be prepared for the works. The Minister must advise in writing the proponent of the works and any decision-maker from whom advice of the Minister has been sought of the decision. The Minister may give a decision-maker any other advice or assistance that might be needed to make a decision. Sub-section (5) requires that the notice under sub-section (4)(a)(i) must specify the procedures and requirements that apply to the statement. Sub-section (6) requires that the Minister notify all decision- makers, who were previously advised to put decisions about the works on hold, as to whether a statement should be prepared. Sub-section (7) provides that works in respect of which the Minister has given a notice requiring a statement to be prepared are deemed to be works to which the Environment Effects Act 1978 applies. New section 8C provides that works in respect of which a statement should be prepared cannot proceed and decisions are not to be made about those works until a proponent has prepared and submitted to the Minister the statement and the Minister's assessment has been considered. Sub-section (2) applies sections 4(3), 5, 6(1) and 6(3) of the Environment Effects Act 1978 to a statement referred to in sub-section (1). New section 8D provides for the extension of deadlines for persons or bodies required to make decisions about works in respect of which the Minister has given a notice under new section 8B advising that a statement be prepared. New section 8E enables the Minister, if the Minister advised a person or body under new section 8B(4)(a)(ii) that a statement was not required subject to certain conditions being met, to give notice to that person or body that a statement is now required for the works because the conditions have not been met. If this is the case new sections 8B, 8C and 8D apply to that notice as if it were a notice given under new section 8B(4)(a)(i). 3

 


 

New section 8F provides that new sections 8 to 8E do not apply to decisions under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 except the decisions specified in new section 8F. New section 8G requires the Secretary, if requested by the proponent of the works, to provide any advice and assistance for the preparation of a statement or supplementary statement. Clause 8 amends section 9(2) of the Environment Effects Act 1978 to clarify that the Minister may invite and receive public comments on the environmental effect of works. Clause 9 amends section 10 of the Environment Effects Act 1978 to make it clear that the guidelines extend to supplementary statements. This clause also inserts new powers to make guidelines in relation to-- the advertising or exhibiting of statements and supplementary statements and of information relating to procedures and requirements for the preparation of statements and supplementary statements; public consultation to be undertaken in relation to works to which that Act applies, including consultation in relation to the requirements for the scope and preparation of statements and supplementary statements. This clause also inserts a new sub-section 10(2) into section 10 of that Act to provide that the guidelines may-- set out different procedures and requirements for different works or different kinds of works; apply, adopt or incorporate, with or without amendments any matter contained in any document or standard published by any authority or body. Clause 10 inserts a new section 11, which is a transitional provision for works that have been declared to be public works for the purposes of the Environment Effects Act 1978 or works in respect of which the Minister has given advice under section 8(2) of that Act as to whether a statement is required before the commencement of the Bill. The amendments to the Environment Effects Act 1978 made by the Bill will not apply to these works. 4

 


 

 


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