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Major Projects Help


Understand the Department's key terms

(The) Commission The Independent Planning Commission.
Community A group of people living in a specific geographical area or with mutual interests that could be affected by a State significant project.
Community and other stakeholders All those with a stake in a project including community members that may be impacted by, or interested in the project.
Community Consultative Committee A technique for the proponent to meet the engagement outcomes and maintain regular two-way communication with stakeholders through the life of a project, including reporting on project progress and impacts and obtaining stakeholder perspectives on these impacts.
Conditions of consent The conditions that the Department or decision-maker sets when a project is approved. The conditions control the way in which development is constructed or operates. The proponent must adhere to these conditions.
Consent Includes the granting of consent for SSD projects, the approval of SSI projects and approvals of modifications to those consents and approvals.
Critical SSI A State significant infrastructure project declared by the Minister to be essential for the State for economic, environmental or social reasons.
Department Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure.
Engagement The act of seeking the participation of the community and other stakeholders on behalf of the project proponent or regulatory agencies.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is the process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the environmental, social, economic and other relevant effects of development proposals. It includes scoping of the project, consultation with the community and other stakeholders, preparation and exhibition of the EIS, assessment and determination of the project.
EIA Documentation Includes the Scoping Report, EIS, Submissions Report and any other documentation provided by the proponent up to the point of determination.
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) The primary document prepared by the proponent which includes assessment of all relevant matters and impacts associated with a State significant project.
EP&A Act Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW).
Key issue A matter that requires detailed assessment, such as a technical study, to better understand the potential impacts that are likely to arise and identify project specific mitigation.
Matter An element of the natural or human environments that may be affected by activities associated with State significant projects.
Minister Minister for Planning, Housing and Infrastructure.
Mitigation Action taken to reduce the impact that a project may have on a matter.
Modification An approved change to a project that is implemented by modifying an existing development consent. An application must be made under the EP&A Act before the modification can be approved.
Other issue A matter whose impacts can usually be managed by well understood and routinely used mitigation measures. Usually, further information will be required, but often without the need for a technical study.
Participation The activity whereby the community and other stakeholders have a say and potentially influence decisions that impact on their lives.
Project Includes applications for State significant development or State significant infrastructure under the EP&A Act.
Project approval


  • development consent for State significant development,
  • infrastructure approval for State significant infrastructure.
Proponent The person or entity seeking approval for a State significant project, or acting on an approval for a State significant project, including any associated entities that have been engaged to assist with project delivery.
Public The activities which are open to the entire public rather than targeted at particular stakeholders, for example, public exhibition of the EIS.
Scoping Scoping identifies the matters and impacts that are likely to be relevant and establishes terms of reference for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
Scoping meeting A meeting held between the proponent and the Department to discuss the project concept and agree on the approach to engaging with the community and other stakeholders prior to finalising the Scoping Report, taking into account potential project impact and likely community and stakeholder interest.
Scoping report A publicly available document which provides preliminary information on a project and its potential impacts to support a request for Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs).
SEARs The SEARs (Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements) set out clear expectations on the level of assessment required for each relevant matter which must be addressed by the proponent in the EIS.
Secretary The Secretary of the Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure.
Stakeholder Any person or group with an interest in, or the potential to be affected by, a State significant project.
State significant development (SSD) Development projects which have State significance due to their size, economic value or potential impacts assessed and approved under Part 4 of the EP&A Act.
State significant infrastructure (SSI) Infrastructure projects which have State significance due to their size, economic value or potential impacts assessed and approved under Part 5 of the EP&A Act.
State significant projects A State significant development or State significant infrastructure project as defined under the EP&A Act.
Last updated: 13/03/2024