The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) establishes the framework for assessing all types of development in New South Wales, including State significant mining, petroleum production and extractive industry projects (‘SSD resource projects’).
The framework provides for each development application to be assessed on its merits. This includes an integrated assessment of the likely social, environmental and economic impacts of the proposed development, including consideration of the principles of ecologically sustainable development and the public interest.
These draft Guidelines have been developed to provide proponents of proposed SSD resource projects with a clear, consistent and transparent framework and overarching methodology for identifying, assessing and responding to social impacts (as part of an integrated environmental impact assessment). It comprises:
· an introduction to social impact assessment (Part 1);
· general social impact assessment requirements and guiding principles (Part 2);
· social impact assessment performance objectives for the pre-lodgement stage (and the Preliminary Environmental Assessment or PEA), and the application stage (and the Environmental Impact Statement or EIS) (Part 3); and
· an overview of how social impacts are considered in the assessment, determination and post-approval stages of the development assessment process (Part 4).
Consultation on the draft guidelines is open until 3 March 2017.