Posted October 11, 2018 05:07:52 An industrial timber and logging project in the Australian outback could close due to environmental concerns.
Key points:The Western Australia Forestry Act gives the Commonwealth Government authority to grant environmental permits to industrial timber projectsThe WA Government has already granted permission for the project to proceed in the region, but it has been under environmental review for more than a yearThe Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has issued a statement saying that the WA Government will be required to take action within 30 days to review the permit applicationThe Western Australian Forestry Act (WAFA) gives the Federal Government the power to grant Environmental Permits to industrial projects.
“The WAFA gives the federal government the authority to give environmental permits for industrial timber, forestry and related projects in WA,” EPA spokesperson Paul Bowers said in a statement.
“This is done by the WA Environment Minister, who must then seek and receive a final environmental assessment from the EPA.”
The WA Environment Department has already given permission for industrial logging to proceed on the property, but the EPA has since issued a lengthy statement stating that the project would not proceed on federal land, and that the EPA was reviewing the application.
In a statement, the WA Environmental Department said it had “received a detailed environmental impact statement” from the WA EPA, and had been “working with the WA Department of Forests and Forest Services to ensure that the approval of the project can proceed”.
“The environmental impact assessment report will be published on their website shortly,” the statement read.
“As this is an environmental assessment, the Government will need to consider the relevant section of the environmental legislation and provide further advice to the WA Cabinet.”
The Western Australians Forestry Commission has already issued a request for comments on the environmental impact analysis, and the WA Forestry Minister, Peter Garrett, said the WA government would consider the submission.
“I have been given a statement by the EPA, which is in relation to the Western Australia forestry program, that the Western Australian Government will have to undertake environmental review before the permit can proceed, which means it’s going to take a couple of weeks for us to respond,” Mr Garrett said.
“We’re not ruling anything out, but we’ll have to wait and see what EPA’s final position is.”
The EPA also confirmed it was reviewing a recent environmental impact report on the Western Australians Forest Act project, which stated the project could have a negative impact on the Murray-Darling Basin.
“At this stage, there is no indication that the site is in a high level of risk to the Murray and Darling Basin,” the EPA said.
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