Environmental assessments for development proposals on the rise

Release date: 
12 December 2017

The number of significant projects requiring assessment by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) are up 50% over last year.

EPA chairman Dr Tom Hatton said development proposal referrals that warranted formal assessment had sharply increased in recent months and showed no signs of slowing down.

“In the first five months of this financial year, 15 development proposals were of a scale and complexity warranting formal assessment,” Dr Tom Hatton said.

“When we compare this to last year’s 19 assessed proposals, it suggests the EPA expects a 50% increase. This is a leading indicator of future growth for Western Australia and follows other positive signs the local economy is improving.”

Referrals to the EPA come from a range of proponents including the mining and agriculture sectors, industry, land developers as well as State Government infrastructure projects.

The number of proposals referred to the EPA that warranted assessments over the last three years are as follows:

2014/15: 19 assessments

2015/16: 10 assessments

2016/17: 19 assessments

2017-18 through November: 15 assessments

“The recent lift in proposals can be attributed to an increase in iron ore mining activity in the Pilbara, new irrigated agriculture projects in state’s north as well as new mines for resources like lithium and tungsten,” Dr Hatton said.

“We are also expecting State Government projects like Metronet and road projects, to reach the environmental planning stage in the near future.”

ENDS

Media Contact: Sarah Lau on 0400 866 450