What should an applicant do when consulting?

An applicant should:

  • take time to understand the principles of consultation
  • consider whether consultation may identify new information or alternatives to improve the proposal
  • consider whether undertaking consultation would assist in ensuring a thorough assessment of environmental effects
  • understand the legal requirements and responsibilities for reporting on consultation.

In line with the principles of consultation, an applicant should provide sufficient information and time for the consulted party to:

  • genuinely consider the information provided
  •  participate (such as through being able to discuss the application or ask questions and make suggestions)
  •  make informed decisions, particularly if their written approval is subsequently sought.

An early approach to consultation by applicants is consistent with the established principles of consultation in that it:

  • provides the parties with an opportunity to exchange information
  • represents a genuine attempt to seek and consider views on the proposal.

Consultation may also be an ongoing process, especially for large projects. This may allow the proposal to be progressively modified to produce a project with better environmental outcomes which is more acceptable to the community.