Government approval of policy/process development.
That prior to the granting of any further production approvals, merits review be available in relation to decisions under the Petroleum Act and Petroleum Environment Regulations including, but not limited to, decisions made in relation to the granting of all Environment Management Plans.
That, at a minimum, the following third parties have standing to seek merits review:
- proponents (that is, gas companies) seeking a permit, approval, application, licence or permission to engage in onshore shale gas activity;
- persons who are directly or indirectly affected by the decision;
- members of an organised environmental, community or industry group;
- Aboriginal Land Councils;
- Registered Native Title Prescribed Body Corporate and registered claimants under the Native Title Act;
- local government bodies; and
- persons who have made a genuine and valid objection during any assessment or approval process.
That an independent body, such as NTCAT, be given jurisdiction to hear merits review proceedings in relation to any onshore shale gas industry.
To be completed by end December 2021.
Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade
Action item update
The government has commenced the policy development for amending the Petroleum Act 1984 to implement this recommendation.
The Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade and the Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security and the will respectively amend the Petroleum Act 1984 and Petroleum (Environment) Regulations 2016 to enhance third party rights of review.