When mining gets the green light: a guide to stronger environmental impact statements

environmental impact statement

27 November 2020

Before a mining company is given an approval to mine, it must conduct a thorough assessment of the proposed project’s environmental and social impact. The environmental impact statement is crucial for governments to decide whether to give a mining project the green light and how to protect the environment and communities from any harm that project may cause.

An environmental impact statement (EIS) is a key decision-making tool for governments deciding whether to approve a mining operation. It is also key to planning successful mitigation strategies to avoid or reduce any harmful impacts that a project could have on the environment and communities. A well-designed, accurate and impartial EIS is crucial to ensuring that both things are done well.

This guide examines why we need to strengthen the EIS process and how a certification scheme can be of benefit. It also sets out the foundational elements of a certification scheme, the regulatory changes needed to introduce a certification requirement and what industry can do in the absence of a mandated requirement to use certified environmental and social impact assessors.

While this guide focuses on Queensland, its lessons and recommendations apply to Australia more broadly.