The Department of Planning and Environment co-ordinates the whole-of-government assessment of the merits of State significant development (SSD) and infrastructure (SSI). These major projects are assessed under Division 4.7 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and require development consent from the Independent Planning Commission or the Minister for Planning (or delegate) before they may proceed.
Assessing Aboriginal cultural heritage
Section 90 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 is turned off during the assessment of State significant projects. Instead, Department Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) are issued. These may include the need for the investigation of Aboriginal cultural heritage.
The required supporting information may include an Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment Report prepared in line with the Guide to Investigating, Assessing and Reporting on Aboriginal Cultural Heritage in NSW and Heritage NSW requirements. See Aboriginal objects and places for details.
Assessing environmental heritage
The Heritage Act 1977 is turned off during the assessment of State significant projects. Instead, the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) are issued which identify what information needs to be included in an environmental impact statement. These may include requirements to investigate environmental heritage.
The required supporting information may include:
- statement of heritage impact
- existing and proposed drawings and drawing schedule.
When there is known or suspected historical archaeology to manage, this documentation may also be required:
- archaeological assessment report
- archaeological research design and excavation methodology.
Refer to the NSW Government major projects website to see comments provided on projects and more information.