The Regional Planning Interests Act 2014 commenced today by proclamation, and will have significant implications for the resources industry as it creates a new approval requirement for resource activities and certain "regulated activities" carried out in:
- priority agricultural areas;
- priority living areas;
- the strategic cropping area; and
- strategic environmental areas.
The final Regional Planning Interests Regulation 2014 was also made today. The regulation contains the assessment criteria for applications made under the Act, prescribes the circumstances when applications will have to be notified, and sets out timeframes under the Act.
Operators of both current and proposed resource projects should give careful consideration to the legislation, in particular the exemptions and transitional provisions, because they might now need to get authorisation for their activities in accordance with the legislation.