The Minister may ask the Independent Planning Commission to hold a Public Hearing into the carrying out of a State significant development.
The purpose of a Public Hearing is to increase the public scrutiny of the merits of SSD projects, obtain independent expert advice on complex technical matters, and give the community another chance to have a say on the project.
A Public Hearing may occur in single or multiple stages and will be conducted in accordance with the Commission’s relevant guidelines .
In a multi-stage Public Hearing, the preliminary stage of the hearing will be held soon after the development application (DA) comes off exhibition and will typically involve:
- the applicant providing a description of the project
- the Department outlining the strategic context for the project and identifying the key issues for assessment based on its preliminary assessment of the Environmental Impact Statement
- the community expressing views on the project
- the Commission asking questions to clarify any issues.
Following the hearing after preliminary stage, the Commission will publish an Issues Report identifying the key issues raised in the hearing and the matters that require further consideration.
The final stage of the hearing will be held when the Department has completed its assessment of the merits of the DA and and provided its detailed Assessment Report to the Commission.
This stage will typically involve:
- The Department explaining the findings of its Assessment Report and any recommended conditions of consent
- the community commenting on the Department’s findings
- the applicant responding to the Department’s findings and community’s comments
- the Commission clarifying any outstanding issues.
After holding the final stage, the Commission will determine the DA.