By 2027 we aim to have:
- Improved external guidance material that clearly defines the standard of information required in applications and sets customer expectations.
- Improved the quality of applications to carry out ERAs received.
- Improved consistency and efficacy of assessment processes for operators and ESR.
- We are committed to continuous improvement in our guidance materials and working with operators to improve the quality of outcomes.
- Substantial progress has been made on actions that will improve the consistency and efficacy of our assessment processes, such as improved guidance for the resources industry (Action 2.2).
Action status indicator
- Awaiting commencement
- In progress
- In December 2022, the Commonwealth Government delivered its response to the Samuel Review of the EPBC Act.
- The Nature Positive Plan: better for the environment, better for business sets out the Commonwealth Government’s commitment to reform Australia’s environmental laws to better protect, restore and manage Australia’s unique environment.
- The Commonwealth Government has committed to preparing a package of new national environmental legislation in 2023 to implement its reforms.
- We will work with the Commonwealth Government to implement reforms applicable to Queensland.
- We are also committed to working with the Commonwealth Government as part of the Digital Environmental Assessment Program (also refer to Action 5.6)
- The Guidance for Resource Industry Project (GRIP) is well advanced. This work is being developed in partnership with the Department of Resources and the Office of the Coordinator-General to improve customer experience and quality of applications.
- Work is now underway to implement the GRIP recommendations. Consequently, the timeframe for delivering Action 2.2 has been revised to 2023.
- The learnings and improvements for the resources industry from GRIP will be considered for their potential application to all environmentally relevant activities at a later stage.
- Information about the application process for resource authorities is available on Business Queensland.
- The Guidance for Resource Industry Project (GRIP) is looking at improvements in the pre-lodgement approach for the resources industry.
- The learnings and improvements to the pre-lodgement approach for the resources industry from GRIP will be considered for their potential application to all environmentally relevant activities.
- Consequently, the timeframe for delivering Action 2.3 has been revised to 2023.
- Initial work has been undertaken to review outdated and/or enforceable model conditions.
- The timeframe for finalising Action 2.4 has been revised to 2023.
- We have completed a review to identify opportunities for new ERA standards for prescribed ERAs having regard to the environmental risks of the ERA and historical application data.
- The development of any new standards will be considered having regard to forecast demand for future approvals and the need for certainty of conditions for the type of activity.
- Opportunities for new ERA standards for resource activities were not considered as part of this project given that a project to review the environmental risks of resources activities regulated under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 is ongoing (Refer to Action 1.4).
- This body of work is due for delivery in 2023.
- The Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan includes an action to require industry to develop plans to decarbonise operations (Action 22), and a commitment that the Queensland Government will work with the resources industry to develop a decarbonisation plan policy.
- This work supports the climate targets outlined in the Queensland Climate Action Plan 2020-2030, released in July 2021.
- Consideration is being given to the outcomes of the Commonwealth Government’s reforms to the Safeguard Mechanism, to ensure effectiveness and avoid duplication.
- The policy will seek to complement Commonwealth and other state initiatives such as the Safeguard Mechanism and development of the Queensland Energy Plan.
- We recently updated the generic terms of reference (TORs) for environmental impact statements to require proponents to develop a decarbonisation plan to demonstrate and outline how their project will assist in meeting Queensland’s emissions targets.
- The updated generic TOR is published on our website.
- The updated requirements make it clear that proponents need to:
- provide an inventory of projected annual Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions for each greenhouse gas over the life of the project
- provide an estimate of annual Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions for the life of the project
- provide a decarbonisation plan that outlines the avoidance, mitigation or offsets measures they will implement, and how these measures will contribute to Queensland’s climate targets.
- Proponents must also outline how they will monitor and publicly report progress of their decarbonisation plans.
- We have employed specialist staff with expertise in greenhouse gas emissions to build our capability to assess decarbonisation plans.
This body of work is due for delivery in 2023 and is awaiting commencement.
- We have commenced a project to review all EAs for composting in order to update to the requirements for best practice environmental management for the activity where relevant.
- We have commenced reviewing best practice environmental management standards for aquaculture and landfilling EAs.
- We have published information online to assist operators that are starting or expanding cropping and horticulture activities to identify whether they may need to obtain an environmental authority.
- We have delivered meetings with agricultural advisers to inform them of their obligations under the Reef regulations.
- The Compliance and Enforcement Strategy: Reef protection regulations sets out our compliance approach and priority for compliance activities to inform and enable voluntary compliance and detect and deter non-compliance.
- The compliance strategy is supported by a broad and holistic education and engagement approach that encourages change by investing in educating and enabling industry to voluntarily comply. This approach seeks to clearly communicate the regulatory requirements so that agricultural producers and advisers understand what is required of them.
- A number of EIS guidance documents have been reviewed.
- Customer journey maps have been developed as part of the Guidance for the Resources Industry Project (GRIP) (refer to action 2.2).
- Further refinement of both guidance material and customer journey maps is intended for 2023 in anticipation of the roll out of the implementation component of the GRIP project.
- We continue to provide officers with access to a range of webinars. The webinars are intended to build officers’ knowledge and understanding of key regulated activities. The webinars are delivered live to allow a question-and-answer function and recorded and shared on internal systems for later reference.
- An ESR Graduate Program commenced in December 2022 with graduate officers commencing in various assessment and compliance teams across the state. The graduates are undertaking a variety of learning and development opportunities that will set them up to achieve competency as an Environmental Officer within ESR.