EPBC assessment bilateral agreement
Since 2014, an agreement between the South Australian government and the Commonwealth has accredited (approved) certain state-based environmental assessment processes under the Mining Act 1971 and the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016.
The agreement, made under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 or EPBC Act, ensures exploration and mining-related assessment processes and approval conditions meet both state and Commonwealth environmental requirements.
The Commonwealth still decides which are 'controlled actions' and has the power to approve or refuse them and attach conditions.
EPBC approval bilateral agreement
South Australia is currently working with the Commonwealth to develop an approval bilateral agreement under the EPBC Act that will allow single touch environmental approvals. This agreement will be founded on strong national environmental standards.
If successful, many projects will no longer need separate EPBC Act approval. Streamlining environmental approvals was a key recommendation of an independent EPBC Act review.