Jacob v Save Beeliar Wetlands: The demise of EPA policy as a mandatory relevant consideration

Jasmine Morris

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Following Jacob v Save Beeliar Wetlands (Inc), environmental impact assessment (EIA) policy developed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) of Western Australia has the status of a permissive relevant consideration. This decision has created an anomaly regarding the status of EIA policy. The EPA extensively develops and reviews its policy, and represents that it will use it in assessing proposals. Three case studies of liquefied natural gas proposals illustrate this fact to varying degrees. To ensure certainty of process, consistency and good decision-making in EIA, this anomaly must be resolved. The suggested view, supported by both legal and administrative reasons, is that EIA policy applicable to a proposal has the status of a mandatory relevant consideration. Potential solutions to the anomaly include amendments to the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA). This article adds to the body of research concerning lawful and good administrative decision-making in the context of environmental regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-352
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental and Planning Law Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017

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