National Environmental Standards are the centrepiece of our reforms.
Standards will improve environmental protections and guide decision-making by setting clear outcomes for regulated activities under the new Act. Standards will be made under the new national environment laws.
The initial standards for development will cover:
- Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES)
- environmental offsets
- regional planning
- community engagement and consultation
- First Nations engagement and participation in decision-making.
Development of draft standards
The department will work closely with stakeholders and partners to develop the initial standards.
This engagement will occur in 2 phases:
- Phase 1: targeted engagement to develop draft standards
- Phase 2: public consultation on draft standards.
Phase 1: targeted engagement to develop draft standards
We have established a working group to inform the development of the draft standard for Matters of National Environmental Significance, draft standard for environmental offsets and draft standard for regional planning. This working group includes stakeholders that represent a range of perspectives. It is supported by experts with specific knowledge relevant to the standards under development.
These draft standards will be tested with a broader reference group of stakeholders that represent a wide range of interests. This includes First Nations groups, business, environment groups and scientists.
Targeted engagement will also be undertaken from mid-2023 to develop the draft standard for community engagement and consultation.
The draft standard for First Nations engagement and participation in decision-making will be developed through a co-design process led by the Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC).
Phase 2: public consultation on draft standards
The first draft standards will be released for public comment in the second half of 2023 alongside details of the new legislation. This will make clear how the standards will operate. This is an opportunity for everyone to engage with the standards and have their say.
Further information on this public consultation process and how you can be involved will be made available on this website later this year.
Final standards will be made under the new national environment laws following passage of this legislation.