The Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Act 2021 (OEI Act) has been designed to operate in conjunction with other applicable Commonwealth legislative regimes. Offshore infrastructure activities as defined under section 8 of the OEI Act, are subject to environmental approval requirements under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) administered by the Department of Climate Change, Energy the Environment and Water (DCCEEW). Approvals under the EPBC Act are required if an activity (the action) meets defined thresholds for significant impacts on matters protected under Part 3 of the EPBC Act, including the Commonwealth marine area.
The offshore renewables environmental approvals guidance has been developed guidance to assist stakeholders in understanding interactions between the licensing and environmental approvals processes of the OEI Act and EPBC Act.
DCCEEW has also developed guidance on key environmental factors for offshore windfarm environmental impact assessment under the EPBC Act to assist proponents with developing referral and assessment documentation under the EPBC Act.