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Glossary of commonly used terms in Environmental Impact Assessment

Advisory body

Individuals or organisations invited by the department to provide advice or information during the EIS process.

Affected person for a project

An affected person for a project is defined under section 38 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 and include a person for the operational land or any land joining it; such as local governments, Native title holder bodies/claimants or representative Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander bodies; landowners/landholders, mining leases or state land (state forests, state controlled roads, national parks, conservation parks, etc.). The full list can be found in the Environmental Protection Act 1994.

All stages of the proposal Construction, commissioning, operation, maintenance, decommissioning and rehabilitation stages.

Bilateral agreement 

The environmental impact statement process under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 has been accredited under ‘An agreement between the Commonwealth and the State of Queensland under section 45 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 relating to environmental assessment’ (the bilateral agreement) between the State of Queensland and the Commonwealth of Australia.

The bilateral agreement can be used for projects that are:

  • controlled actions requiring assessment under part 8 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and
  • are subject to the EIS process under the Environmental Protection Act 1994.


The corporation sole constituted under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1938 and preserved, continued in existence and constituted under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971.
Development The use of land or water within the State or over which the State claims jurisdiction and includes the construction, undertaking, carrying out, establishment, maintenance, operation, management and control of any works or private works on or in land or water.
EIA Environmental impact assessment is the process in which environmental management is integrated into planning and approvals for development proposals. A more detailed definition from the International Association of Impact Assessment (1999) serves equally as well "the process of identifying, evaluating and mitigating the biophysical, social, and other relevant effects of development proposals prior to major decisions being taken and commitments made".

Environment as defined in Section 8 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 includes:

  1. ecosystems and their constituent parts, including people and communities; and
  2. all natural and physical resources; and
  3. the qualities and characteristics of locations, places and areas, however large or small, that contribute to their biological diversity and integrity, intrinsic or attributed scientific value or interest, amenity, harmony and sense of community; and
  4. the social, economic, aesthetic and cultural conditions that affect, or are affected by, things mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (c).
Environmental impacts The beneficial as well as the detrimental effects of any development on the physical, biological, or social systems within which such development occurs.
Environmental values

The definition in the EP Act (section 9) is:

  1. a quality or physical characteristic of the environment that is conducive to ecological health or public amenity or safety; or
  2. another quality of the environment identified and declared to be an environmental value under an environmental protection policy or regulation.
ESD From the Environmental Protection Act 1994 - To protect Queensland's environment while allowing for development that improves the total quality of life, both now and in the future in a way that maintains the ecological processes on which life depends (ecologically sustainable development - ESD).
Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development (IESC)

A statutory committee established by the Australian Government under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

Interested person

Interested person means an interested person proposed by the proponent under section 41(3)(b) of the EP Act; such as an unincorporated community or environmental body with a financial or non-financial interest in the local government area that the operational land is in. 

Properly made submission

A properly made submission for an EIS is one that:

  1. is written; and
  2. is signed by or for each person (signatory) who made the submission; and
  3. states the name and address of each signatory; and
  4. is made to the chief executive; and
  5. is received on or before the last day of the submission period; or a submission accepted by the chief executive.
Project A project includes a development, a proposed development, an action, a proposed action, a plan or a policy.
Proposal A plan or suggestion, especially a formal or written one, put forward for consideration by others.

Stakeholders may include the following:

  • government agencies
  • community (including conservation) groups
  • relevant business groups
  • relevant industry groups
  • local/regional Chambers of Commerce
  • Aboriginal groups / Land Councils / Councils of Elders
  • residents/landholders/businesses within hearing, sight or smell of a project or project related activities
  • potential competitors
  • politicians and other elected representatives.
Last updated
6 September 2016