By Lachlan Wilkinson, FEIANZ, CEnvP IA Specialist, Chair Impact Assessment
Special Interest Section
With a “one-stop shop” for impact assessment and approvals high on the Commonwealth Government’s agenda, WWF Australia sought advice from EIANZ practitioners to help inform their policy.
Both organisations have a shared interest in improving standards and outcomes in the impact assessment process and achieving efficiencies where this may be possible. A small group of experienced impact assessment practitioners from EIANZ participated in a one day 'think-tank' in Sydney with WWF staff and a very productive exchange of views resulted.
For WWF, it was a chance to hear from consultants and former government regulators about the practical challenges of impact assessment and in moving to a “one-stop shop”. WWF will now consider its position to feed into relevant submission and public comment processes.
For the EIANZ attendees, it was a great opportunity to have a discussion around best practice in impact assessment. Combined with the work the South-east Queensland Division has recently undertaken on defining best practice, the EIANZ is now well placed to further develop and finalise its own policy on impact assessment and contribute to the debate on the use of approvals bilateral agreements between the Commonwealth and state/territory governments.
EIANZ is apolitical and focused on promoting good environmental practice. It is pleasing that a non-government organisation has recognised the expertise that exists within EIANZ and sought to be well informed in developing its policy position. As the leading association for environmental practitioners in Australia and New Zealand, EIANZ should be the first port of call for any organisation seeking professional, competent and ethical advice on environmental matters.