Agreement to undertake the strategic assessment

On 2 October 2012, the ACT and Commonwealth Governments commenced a strategic assessment for development areas in Gungahlin under Part 10 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Development within the strategic assessment area is to be delivered by the ACT Government over 30 years.

The purpose of the strategic assessment was to assess the overall impacts of development in Gungahlin on Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES) which included:

The Gungahlin Strategic Assessment relates to the following areas:

Map showing location of Gungahlin development sites, ACT

The Gungahlin Strategic Assessment Biodiversity Plan

The Gungahlin Strategic Assessment Biodiversity Plan (the Plan) outlines a range of actions that are required to avoid, mitigate and offset the impacts of development in the Gungahlin Strategic Assessment area. These actions are implemented through commitments relating to planning, reporting, conservation and financial requirements in the Plan.

On 20 June 2013, the Plan was endorsed under the EPBC Act and the actions associated with the development of Gungahlin were approved by the Commonwealth on 17 July 2013. The approval established a consolidated offsets package and removed the need for site by site assessment of MNES in the Gungahlin Strategic Assessment area.

The Plan should be read in conjunction with the Gungahlin Strategic Assessment Supplementary Report (May 2013).

Gungahlin Strategic Assessment Reports

Annual Reports

The Plan requires the ACT Government to provide Annual Reports to the Commonwealth.

The Annual Report provides findings on implementation of the actions and relevant conservation outcomes achieved in the reporting period (financial years), the objectives described in the Plan with respect to listed matters under ACT and Commonwealth legislation and updates on the status of investments, project success or failure.

Audit Report

The Plan specifies that an audit of the commitments in the Plan is required every five years to ensure commitments are being implemented.

The first audit of the Gungahlin Strategic Assessment was completed in November 2017. The Office of the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment (OCSE) undertook the audit, as the office is an independent authority under ACT legislation.

Plan Review Reports

A Plan Review Report must be completed every four years over the life of the Gungahlin Strategic Assessment. The Plan Review Report provides a review of activities undertaken by the ACT Government to achieve the conservation gains against the objectives outlined in the Plan.

On 28 September 2018, the first Gungahlin Strategic Assessment Plan Review Report was submitted to the Commonwealth Government.

The Plan Review Report is the first of its kind in Australia and the findings and recommendations in the Plan will help improve the delivery of the Gungahlin Strategic Assessment and inform the development of future strategic assessments.

Management Plans

The Plan requires a range of management plans to be prepared that detail the specific actions that the ACT Government will carry out to maintain and enhance the MNES values within the strategic assessment area.

Construction Environmental Management Plans

The Plan requires Construction Environmental Management Plans (CEMP) for all development on 'greenfield' sites. CEMPs must be prepared by development proponents and may be subject to approval, monitoring, reporting and audit by relevant ACT Government authorities under the requirements of the development application assessment and approval process.

The Framework for CEMPs in Gungahlin outlines the process and requirements that need to be addressed in CEMP.

For more information visit the Gungahlin Strategic Assessment page on the Environment website.