Responding to government proposals
The national, State and local governments regularly invite input from the community on proposed changes to environmental laws.
- To comment on strategic assessments under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth), visit the Australian Environment Department’s website. Strategic assessments are landscape scale assessments that look at a wide range of actions in an area. They can include assessments of nationally protected areas, heritage, fire management, and the impact of industries on the environment and heritage.
- To comment on proposals for and reviews of the types of activities that can be conducted in protected areas, visit the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage website. Certain activities are prohibited in some protected areas. Sometimes activities that would otherwise be prohibited can be approved by the Government following an assessment of the impacts of the activity on the environment. For more information about protected areas, see our Fact Sheet on protected areas.
- To comment on draft plans of management for national parks in NSW, visit the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage’s website. Plans of management are important because they set out how environment and heritage will be protected in the park and how people can use the park. Draft plans of management are placed on public exhibition before they are finalised, and the public can submit comments to the Office of Environment and Heritage. For more information about plans of management for national parks, see our Fact Sheet on protected areas.
- To comment on documents detailing how mining and CSG projects will impact Aboriginal cultural heritage, visit the NSW Department of Trade and Investment website. The types documents exhibited include environmental impact statements for mining projects, Review of Environmental Factors reports, and applications for rehabilitation projects. To read more about the types of environmental assessment required to be undertaken for mining and CSG projects, see our Fact Sheets on mining and CSG.
- To comment on draft plans and policies regulating how development impacts on Aboriginal cultural heritage, visit the NSW Department of Planning and Environment website. The types of plans and policies made can include strategic planning for certain regions, and draft legislation. The public can submit comments to the Department of Planning and Infrastructure. To read more about plans and policies, see our Fact Sheet on LEPs and SEPPs.
- To comment on draft Local Environmental Plans (LEPs), contact your local council – these will usually be advertised on their website. There is also a LEP tracking system on the NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s website where you can track the progress of the LEP-making process. To read more about LEPs, see our Fact Sheet on LEPs and SEPPs.
- Contact your local council to see if you can speak at a council meeting. If you have made a submission on a proposed development, you may have a chance to have your say at the council meeting where the development is being considered. For more information about speaking at a council meeting, see How can I have my say?.
- To comment on proposed Methodologies or submit a Methodology variation under the Carbon Farming Initiative, visit the Australian Government website. The Carbon Farming Initiative is a voluntary carbon offset scheme. Under the program, farmers and other landholders have the opportunity to earn income for reducing their emissions through improved agricultural and land management practices, such as the reduction of emissions from livestock or fertiliser use, or increasing carbon in soils or vegetation through reforestation. Indigenous Australians are also encouraged to engage in the Carbon Farming Initiative.
Notifications about opportunities to comment on proposals are often required to be published. The NSW Government is required to publish notices for some proposals in a locally circulating newspaper, and sometimes a newspaper that circulates throughout NSW (often The Land). You can keep an eye on the papers to make sure that you don’t miss an opportunity to comment.