EPBC Act Strategic Assessment
To enable development to proceed in the Sydney Growth Centres while protecting Sydney’s sensitive environment, the NSW Government undertook a Strategic Assessment of the Growth Centres under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
On 20 December 2011, the Commonwealth Environment Minister endorsed the Sydney Growth Centres Strategic Assessment Program.
On 28 February 2012, the Commonwealth Environment Minister approved all actions associated with development of the Sydney Growth Centres as described in the Program Report.
Endorsement Letter - 20 December 2011
Approval Decision - 28 February 2012
The need for site by site approvals under the EPBC Act for the approved actions is no longer required, as long as the actions are consistent with the endorsed Program.
How do I know if an action is in accordance with the endorsed program?
Any proposal on land that is certified under the Growth Centres Biodiversity Certification is in accordance with the endorsed program.
Any proposal on land that is non-certified must be in accordance with the Relevant Biodiversity Measures (RBM) of the Growth Centres Biodiversity Certification. For example, any proposal for essential infrastructure (RBM 11 of the Biodiversity Certification) that will result in the clearing of Existing Native Vegetation (ENV) on land that is non-certified under the Biodiversity Certification is in accordance with the endorsed Program if offsets required by RBM 11 have been provided and, where necessary, the requirements of RBM 12 have been satisfied.
Depending on the location of the proposal other RBMs may also apply.
If you are proposing essential infrastructure in the non-certified areas, please liaise with the Strategies and Land Release team in the Department of Planning and Infrastructure to ensure consistency with the all the requirements of the Biodiversity Certification and Strategic Assessment is achieved.
How do I know if land is certified or non-certified?
The certified and non-certified land is shown on the Growth Centres Biodiversity Certification Maps which are part of the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (TSC Act).
These maps can be found on the NSW Legislation website.
The Department of Planning & Infrastructure will be preparing further fact sheets for local Councils, developers and State agencies.
For a copy of the Sydney Growth Centres Strategic Assessment Frequently Asked Questions, please click here.
The Strategic Assessment considered the potential impacts of development on matters of national environmental significance for the whole of Sydney’s Growth Centres. This allows strategic conservation outcomes to be identified and secured. It also provides greater certainty for those constructing new houses and employment areas, as well as infrastructure providers in the Growth Centres. This approach builds on - but does not replace - the Growth Centres Biodiversity Certification under the State Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. The Growth Centres Biodiversity Certification will continue to be implemented.
NSW and Commonwealth Governments entered into an agreement in 2009 to proceed with the Strategic Assessment. The agreement includes Terms of Reference for Strategic Assessment report.
General information in relation to strategic assessments under the Commonwealth EPBC Act can be found on the Commonwealth Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities website.
The exhibition of the draft Sydney Growth Centres Strategic Assessment Report and draft Sydney Growth Centres Program Report was undertaken in 2010.
Annual Reporting on EPBC Act Strategic Assessment
Every year the Department of Planning and Infrastructure prepares an Annual Report to meet the requirements of Section 5.1 of the Sydney Growth Centres Strategic Assessment Program Report 2010 (the Program Report).
The Annual Report highlights the outcomes achieved in each financial year, since the endorsement of the Strategic Assessment Program on 20 December 2011. The Annual Report addresses both the NSW and the Commonwealth Government biodiversity requirements, particularly the commitments for the relevant matters of national environmental significance (listed in Section 4 of the Program Report), and the funding provided and expended for offsets outside of the Growth Centres.
Sydney Growth Centres Strategic Assessment Annual Report
Draft Sydney Growth Centres Strategic Assessment Report
Draft Sydney Growth Centres Program Report