Stages of assessment for works approvals and licences

Process stages for the application, assessment and management of works approvals and licences for prescribed premises.
Last updated: 30 May 2023

We manage Western Australia’s environment and the environmental impacts of emissions and discharges from prescribed premises through the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act) and the Environmental Protection Regulations 1987.

The following information provides guidance on the processes we undertake to assess applications for works approvals and licences under Part V Division 3 of the EP Act, and manage any consequently granted instruments. It also provides links to supporting documents that relate to the specific stages of assessment.

For further information, refer to our Procedure: Prescribed premises works approvals and licences.

Stage 1 - Pre-application

Stage 1: Pre-application begins when the prospective applicant considers whether they require a works approval and/or licence.

This stage helps prospective applicants determine whether they need a works approval and/or licence, and the matters they will need to address/consider before submitting an application to the department.

Prospective applicants will need to consider:

  • will the proposed activities cause the premises to become prescribed under the EP Act?
  • will a pre-application scoping meeting be required?
  • will additional approvals from the department directly associated with the proposed activities be required (e.g. is it part of a larger project)?
  • for a works approval, is any of the infrastructure considered ‘critical containment infrastructure’?
  • for a works approval, will the infrastructure require environmental commissioning once it is constructed and before it can commence full operations?
  • if the project includes native vegetation clearing, is this better addressed through applying for a separate clearing permit?
  • is a referral to the Environmental Protection Authority under Pt IV of the EP Act necessary?

Policies

  • None

Guidelines

Procedures

Other website links

Stage 2 - Validation

Stage 2: Validation begins when the applicant has submitted an application form for a works approval or licence.

This stage outlines how we determine whether a works approval or licence application is valid and what happens if it is not.

When submitting an application, applicants should ensure that:

  • the correct (and current) application form(s) is used
  • all information necessary for validation and assessment is included in the application
  • the correct application fee is paid (once the applicant has received our invoice).

During validation, we will consider:

  • whether the application needs to be referred to the Environmental Protection Authority under Pt IV of the EP Act (if not previously referred in Stage 1)
  • if the application is valid
  • how the application will be publically advertised (including requests for withholding confidential information).

Note: Applicants should be prepared to respond to our requests for inadequate or missing information.

Policies

  • None

Guidelines

Procedures

Other website links

Stage 3 - Assessment

Stage 3: Assessment begins when we:
a) notify the applicant that their application has been accepted
b) advertises the application for public comment.

This stage outlines how we undertake an assessment of an application and when applicants may be contacted for further information and input in the process.

When assessing an application, we will:

  • determine an appropriate assessment pathway
  • determine if further information is required from the applicant
  • consider any submissions received from third parties following the advertising period
  • assess the application based on the best information it has available to it
  • determine what conditions are appropriate to attach to the instrument (when proposing to grant the application)
  • provide the applicant with the draft decision for comment before finalisation
  • consider any comments received from the applicant on the draft decision
  • finalise its decision (and, if applicable, issue an instrument)
  • advertise its decision.

Note: Applicants should be prepared to respond to our requests for inadequate or missing information.

Policies

Guidelines

Procedures

Other website links

Stage 4 - Decision review

Stage 4: Decision review begins when we issue and advertise our decision on an application.

This stage outlines the appeals process through which our decisions may be challenged by those who disagree with the assessment outcomes.

Appeals against works approval and/or licence decisions are lodged with the Office of the Appeals Convenor and determined by the Minister for Environment.

Where an appeal is successful, we will implement the Minister’s determination as applicable.

Policies

  • None

Guidelines

  • None

Procedures

Other website links

Stage 5 - Instrument management

Stage 5: Instrument management begins when an instrument is granted and continues for the entire duration of the instrument (including while any relevant appeals are pending).

This stage outlines our role and the role of the instrument holder in managing an active instrument, including overviews of the processes relating to applications to amend, surrender, or transfer a works approval or licence.

Instrument holders must comply with the conditions attached to their instrument. Contravention of these conditions is an offence under the EP Act. Of particular note are the conditions that provide for a structured transition process from a works approval to a licence.

Instrument holders may also apply to:

  • amend their instrument and/or
  • surrender their instrument.

New occupiers of prescribed premises may also apply for an existing instrument associated with their new land holding to be transferred into their name.

We will:

  • undertake compliance inspections
  • where necessary, undertake appropriate enforcement actions against identified breaches of works approval or licence conditions or offences under the EP Act itself.

We may also initiate proposals to review and/or amend an instrument.

Policies

Guidelines

Procedures

Templates

Other website links