The principal role of the Panel is to assess the impacts of state significant mining or coal seam gas proposals on biophysical strategic agricultural land (BSAL) before a development application is lodged. These assessments are conducted against targeted scientific criteria relating to agricultural and water impacts.
When the project is located on BSAL, the project must also be referred to the Minister for Primary Industries for advice on the project's impacts under the Aquifer Interference Policy, and to the Commonwealth Independent Expert Scientific Committee for advice on potential impacts on water resources.
Following each assessment, the panel can issue two types of Gateway certificate – a certificate which confirms the proposal meets the scientific criteria or a conditional certificate which may include recommendations such as further studies or modifications to the project.
Once the applicant has a Gateway certificate, they can proceed with a development application. The development application will then be subject to a full merit assessment under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
The Panel can also provide advice on request by the Minister for Planning or Planning Secretary on the potential agricultural and water impacts of mining or coal seam gas production proposals for which a development application or modification application has been lodged, or environmental assessment requirements are being prepared.
The Panel can also provide input on the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) for projects where the time limit for issuing a Gateway certificate has lapsed.
The Gateway Panel has the following functions:
We recognise the importance of community participation in our decision-making process. Using our ‘Make a submission’ form is the easiest way for you to make a submission on cases currently before the Commission.