An Evaluative Comparison Of Environmental


In 1987, the United States Secretary of State James A. Baker proposed that the World Bank should set up environmental impact appraisal ( EIA ) processs. In his address, he told the universe ( Baker, cited in Robinson 1991 ) :

Growth and development are indispensable for preservation, and preservation is indispensable for growing. Despite some averments to the contrary, these constructs are non reciprocally sole aˆ¦ I think we have to prosecute, both in the United States and abroad, a doctrine of growing combined with conservationaˆ¦ make environmental analysis, consistently and routinely, a cardinal portion of every loan proposal.

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Soon after in 1989, the World Bank adapted EIA and later all development applications must go through this procedure before having any loan payment from the World Bank ( The World Bank 2004 ) . This demonstrates the importance of the function EIA plays in sustainable development and the graduated table of EIA version throughout the universe. It serves as a critical tool to understate the negative effects of developments ( Glasson 1995 ) . Since its construct in the United States in 1969, many states besides followed and adopted EIA including Australia, which introduced passed its Environmental Protection ( Impact of Proposals ) Act 1974 ( Padgett and Kriwoken 2001 ) . South Australia had EIA in the province since 1973 ( Thomas and Elliot 2005 ) . This essay will measure the EIA procedure in South Australia by understanding the South Australian process and compare this with the Australian province of Tasmania. Advantages and disadvantages of the South Australian EIA process will be established and used to reason if EIA is effectual in South Australia and recommendations of alteration will be made on any defects.

EIA in South Australia

The most recent statute law which oversees the EIA process is the South Australian Development Act 1993 ( Attorney-General ‘s Department 1993 ) . The curate triggers the EIA procedure by declaring a proposal as “ Major Development ” in the Government Gazette ; On the other manus, the Governor holds the power to end the proposal every bit good as the power to mention the proposal to Local Government planning system ( Clarke and Harvey 2006 ) .

The proposal, one time declared, is forwarded to the Major Development Panel to place major issues with public inputs. A guideline is formulated and the degree of appraisal: Environmental Impact Statement ( EIS ) , Public Environment Report ( PER ) or Development Report ( DR ) is determined. This information is reported back to the Minister and based on the advice from the panel, the curate informs the advocate to fix the necessary degree of appraisal every bit good as doing this information available for public entree ( Thomas and Elliot 2005 ) .

After the completion of the EIA papers, it is released for public remark and response to the remarks is mandatory for the advocate. An Assessment Report is produced by the Minister, with remarks on the EIS, public entries and the advocate ‘s response ( Clarke and Harvey 2006 ) . Although the EIA papers is complete, the Minister has the power to bespeak for mistake rectification and to see new information in the papers ( Thomas and Elliot 2005 ) . A new unit of ammunition of public entry is possible if alterations in the papers are significant ( Clarke and Harvey 2006 ) .

The Governor, based on the advice from the Minister and the Cabinet, makes the determination on the blessing or rejection of the proposal. The determination is published on the Government Gazette every bit good as electronically on the Planning SA web site. Local media will besides be notified ( Clarke and Harvey 2006 ) . Under the Development Act 1993, the determination of the Governor is absolute and by statute law the right for a judicial reappraisal is removed ( Attorney-General ‘s Department 1993 ; Clarke and Harvey 2006 ) .

Monitoring and audit may be requested by the Minster for the advocate and it is required by the statute law that the advocate conducts relevant trials and implement monitoring strategies on the development following with the audit programme criterion ( Attorney-General ‘s Department 1993 ) . However, the consequence of the audit is non required by the statute law to be made publically available ( Clarke and Harvey 2006 ) .

EIA in Tasmania

The province of Tasmania relies on a aggregation of statute laws in its EIA procedure. They are the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 ( EMPCA ) , Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 ( LUPAA ) , State Policies and Projects Act 1993 ( SPPA ) and Resource Management and Planning Appeals Tribunal Act 1993 ; EMPCA, LUPAA and SPPA are used to sort the degree of environmental harm which a development may do ( Thomas and Elliot 2005 ) . In add-on, the Director of the Environment Protection Authority ( EPA ) , by definition in EMPCA, besides has the right to name for a categorization for development non defined in EMPCA, LUPAA and SPPA ( Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment 2008 ; Thomas and Elliot 2005 ) .

For degree 2 activities defined by EMPCA as ‘will, or is likely to, do serious or material environmental injury ‘ a license is normally required and the appraisal starts with the advocate lodging a Notice of Intent ( Department of Premier and Cabinet 1994 ) . With the option to include public inputs, the EPA prepares the Development Proposal and Environmental Management Plan ( DPEMP ) guidelines and allows the advocate to fix a bill of exchange DPEMP with coaction of the environmental and be aftering governments. After the entry of the concluding DPEMP, the advocate is allowed to lodge an application for a license ( Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment 2008 ) .

The Environmental Management and Pollution Control ( EMPC ) board will confer with the populace and appropriate bureaus on DPEMP and the license. Nevertheless, the blessing of DPEMP and the license is the exclusive duty of the board and associated planning authorization ( Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment 2008 ) .

The right for a judicial reappraisal is legislated in SPPA to let the advocate and anyone who made a entry during the public audience period to appeal against an blessing or refusal of license application ( Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment 2008 ) . Monitoring and trials for environmental impact after the development is non required as there is no legislative demand for a reappraisal plan ( Commonwealth Environment Protection Agency 1994 ) .

The advantages and disadvantages of the South Australian procedure

The EIA procedure in South Australia is triggered by the Minister on undertaking which the Minister sees as important ( Clarke and Harvey 2006 ) . In Tasmania, a aggregation of statute laws is used to specify which undertaking requires an EIA. In add-on, the Director of the EPA is permitted to trip an EIA for development non described in the statute laws ( Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment 2008, Thomas and Elliot 2005 ) . The Tasmanian system is robust. It provides a systematic attack in specifying undertaking development of important environmental effects, while besides supplying the degree of flexibleness for including undertaking of important environmental impact but non defined in the statute laws. In comparing, the South Australian system where EIA is triggered by the Minister, the standards of an environmentally important development appears unclear. Besides, excessively much power is given to the Minister because it is his/her determination to declare a development as environmentally important.

On the other manus, one may reason that the Tasmanian EIA which involves a aggregation of statute laws as decentralised and even inefficient and complicated. The definitions used to find the degree of harm the development will do, which determines the needed degree of appraisal is segregated in different statute law ( Thomas and Elliot 2005 ) . This could be confounding as a development may necessitate scrutiny of multiple statute laws before a determination can be reached on the appropriate degree of appraisal.

The South Australian EIA process besides has better public engagement. There is besides greater transparence because information is released to the populace at an early phase. The first measure of public engagement in the EIA for South Australia is after the declaration of the proposal, when the Major Development Panel works collaboratively with the populace to place major issues. Furthermore, it is mandatory to let go of information such as the EIA guideline and the degree of appraisal for public entree ( Clarke and Harvey 2006 ) . In comparing, public input is merely optional in the creative activity of the Tasmanian DPEMP guideline. If it was decided that there will be non public engagement at this phase, so public engagement begin much later during the EMPC board audience with the populace on DPEMP and license application, merely before the concluding DPEMP and determination is made by the authorization ( Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment 2008 ) .

However, one must be careful in measuring the success of public engagement. Although in theory, the South Australian EIA procedure is better is public engagement, this nevertheless, does non justify effectivity and successful execution. One illustration is the proposal of a new landfill at Northern Balefill as the old landfills are nearing the terminal of their operational lives. The general position of the locals was against the program. After the official period of public audience, their sentiment was non considered earnestly and the development was approved. This caused much public tumult and because there was no judicial reappraisal, the citizens resorted to unofficial channels to show their discontent ( Clarke and Harvey 2008 ) . This incident demonstrates the deficiency of consideration of public sentiment and the effectivity of public engagement in the South Australian EIA procedure is in serious uncertainty.

Therefore, the right to appeal is the ultimate solution to turn over a determination should public audience fails. In Tasmania, SPPA grants the right for judicial reappraisal in the EIA procedure ( Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment 2008 ) . But as mentioned earlier, there is no judicial reappraisal in South Australian ( Attorney-General ‘s Department 1993 ; Clarke and Harvey 2006 ) . The riddance of judicial reappraisal in the South Australian EIA procedure could be on purpose because public engagement took topographic point at an early phase and South Australian legislators may be confident that public audience will decide any struggle and hence, there is no demand for judicial reappraisal. However, determinations made are based mostly on uncomplete information ( Fairfax 1978 ) and in world public audience fails ( Clarke and Harvey2008 ) .

Labelled as the ‘single action that could most better impact Assessment ‘ by the National Research Council of the United States of America ( Fairweather 1989 ) . Tasmania, like many topographic points in the universe, ignores the importance of monitoring and auditing ( Ahammed and Nixon 2005 ) . Fortunately, there is a system of environmental impact monitoring and auditing in South Australia ( Attorney-General ‘s Department 1993 ) . However, the monitoring and scrutinizing procedure is substandard without clearly outlined monitoring programmes or programs ( Ahammed and Nixon 2005 ) ; ignoring the demand for a monitoring schemes with standard as defined by the statute law ( Attorney-General ‘s Department 1993 ) .


In decision, EIA in South Australia requires sensible betterment. Triping an EIA by the declaration of the Minister has its job because this leads to environmental important being unclear. The Minister is given excessively much power for leting him/her to triping an EIA. The Governor is besides given excessively much power because his/her determination is absolute and can non be overturned by judicial reappraisal. Surely, there are countries which the EIA of South Australia excels in. EIA in South Australia is centralized by statute law ; it encourages early public engagement and has a system of monitoring and auditing. However some of these countries need betterment, viz. public engagement and monitoring and auditing.

Much work is needed for the South Australian EIA procedure to be optimised. Amendments should be made on the statute law to specify the standards of important development and the Minister should establish on the standards of the statute law, declare a development as important. The judicial reappraisal system should be established. A alteration of attitude of the authorization is required for successful public engagement. They must take the sentiments of the public earnestly. The authorization should besides set more attending into the execution of monitoring and scrutinizing plans to do certain that they are conducted with a high criterion for them to be effectual.



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