The Australian Government has reached a new agreement with New South Wales – Amendment Agreement No. 1. It amends the bilateral agreement signed in 2015 (initial agreement). This agreement was entered into pursuant to section 45 of the Environmental Assessment Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act). The current agreement enhances the benefits of streamlining the Single Window prior to the adoption of a bilateral authorization agreement. The current agreement achieves the objective of promoting effective, thorough and transparent environmental regulation, while minimising duplication. The current agreement will replace the previous agreement, which was in service from December 20, 2013 to February 25, 2015. The bilateral agreement applies to certain major projects under the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act). These include projects and modifications to the State Signalling Infrastructure (SSI) and the development of State Signatures (SSDs), which must be evaluated and approved in accordance with the EPBC Act. The amended bilateral agreement maintains the original intention of the bilateral agreement (2015) with as minimal changes as possible to the existing content. Niche is in the process of finalizing assessments for several important projects in NSW, for which the amended bilateral agreement has allowed us to frame our clients` offset strategies in a way that avoids lengthy and disproportionate obligations after approval.

With access to the Nature Conservation Fund, our clients can avoid near-double compensation under the previous bilateral agreement and achieve both time and cost savings, although BOPC credit prices increase a high-end price. The governments of NSW and Australia have agreed that the bilateral agreement should be amended in NSW as a result of legislative changes. These amendments include the coming into force of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Act 2017. On this page you will find all recent documents relating to bilateral agreements under the Environmental Protection and Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) between the Commonwealth and the State of New South Wales for environmental assessment and approval. At present, there is no bilateral authorization agreement. 1 Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 2 Projects reviewed under section 5.1 of the PE&A Act are not covered by the amended bilateral agreement. 3 The Commonwealth Government has developed a conditional directive to accompany the amended bilateral agreement that allows projects with (1) a single condition requiring supporters to comply with the NSW licensing conditions, (2) adapted and separate NSW approval conditions, or (3) no licensing conditions under the EPBC Act. 4 Biodiversity equalisation and the agreement management system The amended bilateral agreement provides for the evaluation of measures implemented by Commonwealth agencies. This only applies to measures for which both the NSW Government and the Australian Government agree that the project is appropriate for assessment under the bilateral agreement. Similarly, proponents who receive their own offsets under the amended bilateral agreement cannot use the variation rules to fulfill their project`s offset obligations if their project has an EPBC offset requirement. As part of the bilateral agreement, the NSW government will do everything in its power to inform supporters that a measure may need to be referred back to the Australian government. The Australian government will then decide, in consultation with the NSW government, whether the action is a „controlled action“ under the EPBC Act, which must be approved.

The NSW government will confirm whether the measure can be assessed under the bilateral agreement. The bilateral agreement allows the state to conduct environmental assessments on behalf of the Australian government, eliminating duplication, including the need for a separate assessment.. . . .