Projects of regional significance

Major development proposals that have effects that extend beyond a single council area but are confined to a regional level can be assessed as 'Projects of Regional Significance' under the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993.

The Minister for Planning can declare a project of regional significance if it fits into certain categories under the Act. The Commission is then directed to assess the project. The Commission must appoint a Development Assessment Panel. The panel is made up of:

  • a Commissioner, or nominee, as the chairperson
  • a person with appropriate qualifications and experience nominated by relevant councils, and
  • a person the Commission considers has qualifications or experience relevant to the project.

The panel, with guidance from the Environment Protection Authority, prepares assessment guidelines and provides them to the project proponent. The proponent is then given a set time to provide a project impact statement to the panel.

The panel then publicly displays the project impact statement and invites comments. Hearings are held and the panel decides whether to grant a special permit. If applicable, this may be subject to the Environment Protection Authority’s advice. If a special permit is granted, relevant parties, including councils, the proponent and the Environment Protection Authority can object to any conditions or restrictions in the special permit.

The panel determines whether to grant a special permit, as well as any conditions or restrictions on that permit.

How can I comment?

There is an opportunity to make comments in writing to the project impact statement when it is advertised for comment and later to appear at a Commission hearing.

See the following flowchart for further information on the assessment process for projects of regional significance (pdf, 101.1 KB).