Panel picked for EPA review

29/01/2016 - 14:05

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The state’s environment minister has picked three legal professionals to conduct a review into the Environmental Protection Authority, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Roe 8 highway project last month.

Environment Minister Albert Jacob.

The state’s environment minister has picked three legal professionals to conduct a review into the Environmental Protection Authority, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Roe 8 highway project last month.

The review team will be headed by environment and planning barrister Peter Quinlan and assisted by barrister Eric Heenan and legal practitioner Sunili Govinnage.

Environment Minister Albert Jacob announced the review in December after Chief Justice Wayne Martin surprised the state government with a ruling that overturned the approval of Roe 8.

“It is critical that a specialised third party examine the EPA’s processes for the development of policy and guidelines and how they are applied to ensure the environmental assessment process remains rigorous, with improvements made where needed,” Mr Jacob said.

“The review team has been selected for its expertise and is independent of the EPA.  

“It will determine the extent and form of consultation with other parties.”

The final report is expected to be presented to Mr Jacob and the EPA in April.

Mr Jacob said the EPA board fully supported the review.

The review won’t examine past EPA recommendations, Mr Jacob added, and all other environmental approvals remain valid unless determined otherwise by the courts.

Last week, Premier Colin Barnett announced plans to appeal the Supreme Court’s ruling, arguing that it had broader implications and would be appealed to clarify requirements for approval decision making.

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