Exemption from requiring an EIS (s211)

What is an EIS exemption?
What is the EIS exemption process?
What information is required to lodge an EIS exemption application?
Developments where an EIS exemption application has been submitted
Developments where an EIS exemption has been granted by the Minister

What is an EIS exemption?

An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required for any development application (DA) in the impact track under section 123 of the Planning and Development Act 2007, unless an EIS Exemption is granted. A proponent may apply for an EIS exemption for any proposal that would trigger an EIS.

Under section 211 of the Planning and Development Act 2007, the Minister has discretion to grant an exemption if satisfied that recent studies have adequately addressed the expected environmental impacts of the proposal, whether or not the recent studies relate to the particular development proposal. In deciding whether to grant an EIS exemption, the Minister must consider any submissions received during the consultation period for the EIS exemption application.

The Minister may grant a conditional EIS exemption.

An EIS exemption expires on the later of the following dates:

  • if an EIS exemption application was made using a recent study that is an EIS prepared under, or an endorsed plan, policy or program under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - when the approval expires
  • 5 years after the day the exemption is notified.

What is the EIS exemption process?

The applicant submits a draft EIS exemption application to the planning and land authority (the Authority). Once it is accepted for lodgement, the draft EIS exemption application undergoes a public consultation period for a minimum of 15 working days. Any public submissions which are received are published on the Authority’s website and provided to the proponent to consider in revising the application. Entities are also consulted during this time.

The applicant has the opportunity to address matters raised during public consultation in preparing a revised EIS exemption application. The Authority assesses the revised application and prepares an EIS exemption assessment report for the Minister.

Upon receiving the revised application and EIS exemption assessment report, the Minister can make a decision to either:

  • Grant the proposal an exemption from requiring an EIS if they are satisfied that recent studies sufficiently address the expected environmental impact of the proposal. This means that the applicant can lodge a development application in the impact track for this proposal. The EIS exemption is required to be submitted as part of any subsequent DA for assessment. If an EIS exemption is granted, the EIS exemption assessment report will be made available on the Authority’s website.
  • Not grant an exemption if unsatisfied that the expected environmental impact has been sufficiently addressed by a recent study. The applicant may then submit a request for an EIS scoping document to commence the EIS process.

The following steps outline the EIS exemption process:1. An optional pre-application meeting between proponent, assessment officers and relevant entities.2. The proponent submits an EIS exemption application electronically to customer services.3. Application undergoes administrative and technical completeness checks. Fee advice is provided to the applicant once documents are deemed sufficient. Note: once fee advice is paid, the application is formally lodged.4. Public consultation period commences – the application is publicly available on the Authority website and is referred to entities for comments.5. Public consultation period ends – the proponent is provided with entity comments and public submissions for their consideration.6. Proponent prepares a revised application, considering Authority and entity comments and any public submissions made within the consultation period.7. The revised application undergoes a completeness check.8. The revised application is assessed, considering written public submissions and entity comments.9. EIS exemption assessment report is prepared for the Minister’s consideration.10. The Minister makes a decision on the application. There are two outcomes:10a. The Minister grants an exemption from requiring an EIS if satisfied that a recent study sufficiently addresses the expected environmental impact of the proposal. If this occurs, the proponent prepares an impact track development application (separate process).10b. The Minister does not grant an exemption if unsatisfied that the expected environmental impact has been sufficiently addressed by a recent study. If this occurs, the proponent can submit a request for an EIS scoping document (separate process).

What information is required to lodge an EIS exemption application?

An EIS exemption application must provide sufficient information about the proposal to understand the potential impacts of the proposal. A detailed guide on requirements for lodgement is provided in the guidance document for proponents.

The required documentation includes a completed Application for Environmental Impact Assessment Processes (Form 1M) with the following attached:

  • a statement outlining the objectives of the project and why it is needed
  • a completed Letter of Authorisation form, providing details and signatures of all lessees or land custodians of land to which the proposal relates; a separate form is required for each lessee/land custodian
  • a description of the proposal, including maps or plans of the site and any preliminary design drawings
  • a preliminary risk assessment (PRA) based on the guidance document for proponents
  • a description of the natural conservation values of the site based on the guidance document for proponents
  • a description of measures within the proposal that seek to avoid and minimise (and as a last resort offset) impacts of the proposal on any conservation values
  • sufficient detail about the previous investigations and studies supporting the application
  • details of qualifications, expertise and experience of the person(s) who conducted previous studies supporting the application
  • details of pre-lodgement public consultation undertaken
  • information on any decision made under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 in relation to the proposal.

Developments where an EIS exemption application has been submitted

Notifiable Instrument number for public consultation

Application number

EIS exemption application documentation

Public consultation period end date

NI2018-516201800023Canberra Brickworks Precinct Access Road and Dudley Street Upgrade8 October 2018

Developments where an EIS exemption has been granted by the Minister

Notifiable Instrument number

Project title and location

EIS exemption assessment report

EIS exemption expiry date

NI2018-599Ginninderry Stage 2 Urban DevelopmentEIS Exemption Assessment Report30 June 2067
NI2018-260Molonglo Valley Stage 3 Urban DevelopmentEIS Exemption Assessment Report31 December 2041
NI2018-128 Mixed use development - Block 2 Section 67 Kingston EIS Exemption Assessment Report 15 March 2023

NI2017-398

Kaleen Caltex Service Station Redevelopment – Block 26, Section 120, Kaleen

EIS Exemption Assessment Report

24 July 2022

NI2017-387

Removal and Replacement of Underground Storage Tanks – Block 50, Section 18, Mitchell

EIS Exemption Assessment Report

22 July 2022

NI2017-346

Removal of Underground Storage Tanks – Block 2, Section 16, Mitchell

EIS Exemption Assessment Report

3 July 2022

NI2017-183

Denman Prospect Deferred Area and Bushfire Protection Zones

EIS Exemption  Assessment Report

13 April 2022

NI2017-164

Williamsdale 132kV Electrical Line Connection

EIS Exemption Assessment Report

3 April 2022

NI2015-456

OneSun Capital Solar Farm at Williamsdale

EIS Exemption Assessment Report

3 August 2020

NI2013-525

Gungahlin Strategic Assessment Area

EIS Exemption Assessment Report

1 January2043

NI2013-338

Molonglo Valley Stage 2 - Urban Development, Infrastructure and Link Bridge

EIS Exemption Assessment Report

31 December 2041

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