On 3 October 2014, Western Australia (WA) signed a new assessment bilateral agreement with the Commonwealth under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The agreement began on 1 January 2015.
Download a copy of the agreement here (pdf 2.04 MB)
General information regarding the agreement is available here (pdf 344 kb)
The agreement allows WA to assess proposals likely to have a significant impact on a matter of national environmental significance on behalf of the Commonwealth.
The agreement accredits the EPA's Public Environmental Review (PER) and Assessment on Proponent Information - Category A (API A) levels of assessment. If the EPA assesses a proposal at the level of PER or API A under the agreement, separate assessment by the Commonwealth is not required.
Information for proponents on environmental impact assessment under the new Assessment Bilateral Agreement is available here (pdf 415 kb)
What is the process under the agreement?
Proponents are required to apply to the EPA for a proposal to be assessed under the bilateral agreement. It is recommended that this application is made at the time of the referral of the proposal to the EPA. A simple tick box and signature block is provided in the EPA's Referral Form for this purpose.
Download the referral form here (MS Word 350 kb)
If the application is made at a later time, and the EPA's assessment process is not too far progressed, a separate application form is available for application.
Download the form to apply for assessment of a proposal under the new assessment bilateral agreement (MS Word 70 kb)
This bilateral agreement requires that proponents of proposals to be assessed under the agreement at the level of API A release their draft environmental review documentation for public comment for two weeks.
The EPA has developed a guideline regarding the form and content of, and the process for preparing, an Environmental Review document for an API A. This includes requirements to be addressed if the proposal is to be assessed under the bilateral agreement.
Download the Environmental Assessment Guideline for Preparation of an API – Category A Environmental Review Document (EAG 14) (pdf 1.16 Mb)
The EPA can host the invitation for public comment for proposals being assessed at the API A level under the bilateral agreement.
Download the form to request the EPA to host 'Invitation for public comment' for the purpose of the assessment bilateral agreement (MS Word 75 kb)