Responding to government proposals
The national, State and local governments regularly invite input from the community on proposed changes to environmental laws.
- Contact your local council to comment during the preparation of a Coastal Zone Management Plan. The purpose of a Coastal Zone Management Plan is to put in place a structured plan for the protection of the beach or foreshore. The plan sets out actions that can be taken to avoid or mitigate damage that can occur to the coast during storm events that may lead to severe erosion or beach damage. For more information about coastal protection, see our Fact Sheet on coastal protection.
- To comment on draft plans and policies regulating building and development, visit the NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s website. The types of plans and policies made can include strategic planning for certain regions, draft legislation, plans for infrastructure precincts, and industry policies. To read more about plans and policies, 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?.
- Contact your local council to comment on draft Local Environmental Plans (LEPs) – these will usually be advertised on their website. There is also a LEP tracking system on the NSW Department of Planning and Environment website where you can track the progress of the LEP-making process. For more information about LEPs, see our Fact Sheet.
- To comment on proposals to prepare management plans for Commonwealth reserves, visit the Commonwealth Marine Reserves website. Management plans for marine reserves are an important tool for protecting marine areas. Draft management plans are opened for public consultation before they are finalised, and the public can submit comments to the Australian Environment Department.
- To have your say about how environmental and conservation considerations are balanced against commercial and recreational interests, comment on processes and studies on the NSW Marine Parks website. Marine Parks are declared areas of State waters which are set aside to conserve biodiversity and maintain ecological processes.
- Report a sighting of a protected or threatened aquatic species to the NSW Department of Primary Industries. This can assist with the management and protection of these species.
- To comment on fisheries assessments being undertaken by the Australian Environment Department, visit the Australian Environment Department’s website. Assessments can be undertaken by the Australian Government to gauge environmental performance and to promote the ecologically sustainable management of fisheries.
- To comment on applications for environment protection licences, visit the EPA website. The EPA must consider your comments in deciding whether to grant a licence. This includes any public submissions made under the development assessment process. Certain polluting activities require a licence. The EPA can issue licence to a person to carry out polluting activities. This can include pollution of water or land by industrial chemicals, such as chemical production and storage activities. The EPA is required to keep a public register of all declared chemical wastes and chemical control orders and all environment protection licences and environmentally hazardous chemical licences. For more information on environment protection licences, see our Fact Sheet on air, water and noise pollution.
- To comment on applications to vary environment protection licences, visit the EPA website. You can also comment on existing licences at any time. Licences are required to be reviewed by the EPA or other responsible authority at least every five years. You can write to the EPA and request a statement of reasons explaining why the EPA granted or refused an environment protection licence application. This includes applications for transfers or variations.