ESD and community participation: the Strategic Assessment of the proposed Kimberley LNG Precinct, 2007–2013
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The Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 seeks to promote ecologically sustainable development (ESD), in part by espousing the principle that ‘decision-making processes should effectively integrate both long-term and short-term economic, environmental, social and equitable considerations’. Strategic assessments of proposals for major industrial developments constitute a key part of the act's machinery for pursuing this principle. The article considers the extent to which Strategic Assessments are effective in this regard, drawing on a case study, the Commonwealth – Western Australia Strategic Assessment of the proposed Kimberley Liquefied Natural Gas Precinct. It shows that while the early stages of the Strategic Assessment did reflect sustained efforts to adhere to ESD principles, as the Assessment proceeded, party political, bureaucratic and commercial pressures made it increasingly difficult to do so. Of particular importance was the impact of these factors on the time lines and processes applied to project approvals and the Strategic Assessment, which ultimately meant that critical ESD principles could not be achieved.
Australasian Journal of Environmental Management
© 2015 Taylor & Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Australasian Journal of Environmental Management (AJEM) on 23 Feb 2015, available online: https://doi.org/10.1080/14486563.2014.999726