The Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) welcomes the opportunity to make this submission on the draft Environment Protection Regulations (draft Regulations). On the whole, we support the draft Regulations, subject to the recommendations we make for their refinement in this submission.
In particular, we support the prescriptive nature of the draft Regulations in guiding the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process. This will provide a level of clarity and certainty, and with this, greater transparency and accountability, around the decision-making framework for EIA in the Northern Territory. This does not currently exist under the current legislative framework of the Environmental Assessment Act 1982, which is one of its major flaws. The inclusion of transparency and consultation mechanisms at each stage of the EIA process is strongly supported, namely the publication of reasons for decisions, the requirement to publish a wide range of documents on a public register, and in most circumstances, public consultation processes.