Under Section 5.17 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979, the Planning Secretary may require a proponent to submit a Preferred Infrastructure Report for a State significant infrastructure (SSI) or Critical State significant infrastructure (CSSI) project that:
- outlines proposed changes to the SSI project to minimise its environmental impact
- deals with other assessment issues raised during the assessment of the application.
This would typically occur when the Department determines that an SSI or CSSI project should be modified to address issues raised in submissions or identified during the detailed assessment of the merits of the project.
The purpose of the Preferred Infrastructure Report is to outline any changes to the project and to help the community, government agencies and the approval authority understand the implications of these changes.
While this is similar to the purpose of an Amendment Report, there are important distinctions between the two reports. An Amendment Report is prepared to document changes to an SSI or CSSI project that are initiated by the proponent, whereas a Preferred Infrastructure Report is prepared to document changes to a project that are initiated by the Planning Secretary.
In preparing the Preferred Infrastructure Report, the proponent may:
- refine the design of the project
- undertake further engagement with the community and government agencies
- undertake further assessment
- update the evaluation of the merits of the project to incorporate the findings of any further assessment or engagement.
Once complete, the Department must submit the Preferred Infrastructure Report online.
The Department may publish and seek submissions on the Preferred Infrastructure Report.
If the Preferred Infrastructure Report is exhibited, the Department will publish all submissions online and ask the proponent to prepare a Submissions Report.