The Minister for Planning can declare a major project if it meets certain criteria under the Act. The Commission is then directed to assess the project and must establish a Development Assessment Panel (Panel) made up of at least:
- a Commissioner, or nominee, as the chairperson;
- another Commissioner or nominee of the Commission; and
- a person that, in the opinion of the Commission, has qualifications and experience relevant to the project.
After initial consultation and advice from relevant regulators, the Panel may give the Minister a no reasonable prospect notice after giving notice to the proponent of its intention to do so. A no reasonable prospects notice is given when the Panel considers that there is no reasonable prospect that a major project will be granted a permit.
The Panel, with input from relevant regulators and specified others, prepares assessment criteria. These are publicly exhibited and finalised after considering submissions made during the exhibition period. Once finalised they are provided to the project proponent.
The proponent is then given a set time to provide a major project impact statement to the Panel.
The Panel publicly exhibits the major project impact statement and invites comments. Hearings are held and the Panel decides whether to grant a permit. If applicable, this may be subject to participating regulators’ requirements.