What is a public hearing?
The Minister may ask the Independent Planning Commission to hold a public hearing into the carrying out of a State significant development.
The purpose of a public hearing is to increase the public scrutiny of the merits of SSD projects, obtain independent expert advice on complex technical matters, and give the community another chance to have a say on the project.
When the commission holds a public hearing, merit appeal rights in respect of any future decision on that application are extinguished.
A public hearing will be conducted in accordance with the commission’s relevant guidelines.
Public hearings will generally be held as soon as practicable after the Minister has made a request to hold a public hearing and the department’s assessment report is received by the commission. The hearing will typically involve:
- the panel chair giving a brief opening statement describing the commission’s role in determining the DA;
- the applicant providing a description of the proposed development;
- the department presenting its assessment report and the rationale for its recommendation to the commission;
- members of the public presenting to the panel.
After the public hearing
After holding a public hearing into a matter which is not being determined by the commission, the commission will provide a copy of its findings and recommendations in the form of a ‘Final report’ to the consent authority and publish the report on the commission’s website.
The consent authority will then proceed to determine the DA.