Ramifications of development projects deemed “state significant"

TitleRamifications of development projects deemed “state significant"
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsGarner, G. Owen
JournalProperty Management
Start Page212
KeywordsKRA, Project, Queensland, resource, significant project, state significance

Purpose The acknowledgement of state significance in relation to development projects can result in special treatment of environmental compliance, economic and other government support measures, by regulatory authorities. However, defining just what constitutes a “significant project”, or “state significance” varies considerably between Australian states. There is even less clarity in establishing threshold levels. Despite this lack of definition, the implications of “state significance” can be considerable, therefore necessitating elucidation. Design / methodology / approach In conducting a review of the literature on this topic, this paper examines the impact of relevant legislative instruments. The Australian state of Queensland is used as a case study example, highlighting – in the case of a declared “significant project” - streamlined environmental impact assessment processes that potentially circumvent certain legislative planning provisions. By way of contrast, smaller, extractive resource projects considered to be of State or regional significance may be designated a “Key Resource Area”, however they remain subject to normal assessment processes under the Integrated Development Assessment System, vegetation management codes, and other regulations. Findings This paper argues for a streamlining of the assessment process in order to minimise constraints acting on state development, in concert with a tightening and clarification of ‘state significance’ definitions - without abrogation of state to federal jurisdiction. The existence of a strategic threat to the delivery of an already over-stretched infrastructure program is also questioned. Originality / value The various meanings of “state significance”, especially in Queensland, and the ramifications for development projects in that state are explored. Various challenges are thus presented to public policy makers.

Refereed DesignationRefereed