*The Environmental Impact Assessment Process is to be used for all Defence Activities and Projects, undertaken by Defence personnel as well as Contractors*
Defence uses a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process to understand and manage the impacts of its activities and projects on environment and heritage values. The specific requirements of the EIA process for each activity or project varies depending upon the degree of predicted, actual and perceived environmental risk. Routine training activities, minor construction works or the acquisition and use of some equipment items may not pose a significant risk to the environment and the impacts and mitigation strategies will be considered internally by Defence.
Where it is identified that some activity, work or new equipment may pose a real risk of potentially significant environmental impacts Defence requires that assessments are undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (The EPBC Act). Regardless of the process used, any environmental issues identified are then managed to mitigate the potential for adverse impacts to occur.
Where Defence undertakes environmental impact assessments Defence uses specialist environmental consulting companies who work with Defence's own team of professionally qualified and experienced environmental managers to ensure environmental risks are identified and managed on the ground. For a major joint military exercise (like the Talisman Sabre series), infrastructure development (such as buildings and bases) and major new items of equipment (such as tanks and aircraft) public consultation is routinely undertaken through a Public Environment Report. The Defence Project Director / Project Officer / Regional Project Delivery Officer has the key responsibility for managing and driving all timeframes and milestones associated with the environmental assessment process.
Where it is unlikely that significant environmental impacts will arise Defence still considers and manages the effects of these activities on the environment through an internal protocol known as an Environmental Clearance Certificate. This ensures there is still a robust process for environmental management to minimise the potential for adverse environmental outcomes.
For further details on environmental assessment within Defence please refer to the Defence Environmental Assessment and Approval Strategy 2014 and the Implementation and Operation tab on this page.