You may have recently seen an article in the Canberra Times which talks about Ginninderry applying for an Environmental Impact Statement exemption with the ACT Planning Authority.
It is incorrect to imply, as the newspaper headline does, that this will result in Ginninderry not being required to conduct all of the necessary detailed environmental research that would normally be expected of a project of this nature. The approval would set aside the need to do certain work because, at Ginninderry, the work has already been done as part of the comprehensive environmental strategic assessment completed in 2017.
Over the last 10 years, Ginninderry has completed a wide range of environmental investigations to determine the potential environmental impacts of the project.
These have been undertaken to ensure that all necessary protection measures are in place, or are able to be easily put in place in the future planning for the project, prior to the start of development. Rather than taking a piecemeal assessment approach on a stage-by-stage basis, Ginninderry has completed a robust and comprehensive environmental assessment up-front. This has included an assessment of Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES) across the whole site. Approval under the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) was obtained in August 2017. In addition to nationally listed species and communities the assessment also included all species and ecological communities listed in either the ACT or NSW. Because this comprehensive assessment has been completed, the project has applied for a Section 211 exemption from the requirement that the DA for Stage Two and future stages of the project be accompanied by multiple EIS’s prepared specifically to cover the individual Development Applications. A detailed fact sheet which summarises the background to this application, can be found here.
All of the technical information directly relevant to the proposal was made available on the EPSDD website and public comments were accepted up to 1 May 2018. The material will soon be available on the Ginninderry website at https://ginninderry.com/planning-and-community/reports-library/
We welcome input on aspects of the project and if following your review of this material, you have any questions please call the Ginninderry project office on 1800 316 900 and ask to speak to one of the project team or email firstname.lastname@example.org