OAC > FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

QUESTIONS

ANSWERS

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Where do I send my appeal?

Appeals must be addressed to the Minister for the Environment and delivered within the allotted time period. Appeals must also be accompanied by the appropriate fee (see below).

You can post or deliver your appeal to the Appeals Convenor, Office of the Minister for Environment, Level 22 Forrest Centre, 221 St George's Terrace, Perth WA 6000. Alternatively lodge your appeal by fax on (08) 6467 5199 or by email to admin@appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au

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What is the deadline for lodging an appeal?

Appeals must be lodged within set time frames. The length of time and the commencement of the appeal period vary depending on the type of appeal. In all cases, in determining the closing time for appeals, the day on which the appeal period is triggered (for example, the date of grant of a clearing permit) is excluded from the calculation of the appeal period.

Given the large range of time periods and triggering events under the Act, please refer to the specific appeal page for details on the appeal period for that type of appeal.

The closing time for the lodgement of appeals is up to 5pm on the closing date for posted or hand delivered appeals, and up to midnight on the closing date for appeals that are faxed or emailed.

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What happens if the appeal period closes on a weekend or public holiday?

If the closing date for an appeal falls on a Saturday, Sunday or Public Holiday, the closing date for the appeal will be the next business day.

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Is there a fee for lodging an appeal?

The fees for lodging an appeal depend on the type of appeal. Please refer to the information sheet for the fees applicable to each type of appeal.

Payment can be made by Visa, Mastercard, cheque, cash or money order. Cheques and money orders should be made payable to the Appeals Convenor. Do not send cash through the post. Credit card payments can be made via the form or by telephone 6467 5190.

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Can the fee be reduced, waived or refunded?

For appeals made under the Environmental Protection Act 1986, the Minister may reduce, waive or refund the whole or part of an appeal fee. An application for a reduction, waiver or refund needs to be in writing addressed to the Minister. This should set out the reasons justifying the request. Reasons may include that the appellant has insufficient resources.

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What is the form of an appeal?

Appeals must be in writing, signed and addressed to the Minister for Environment. The appeal letter must also include:

  • Description of the proposal/premises/notice/land to which the appeal relates;
  • Name of the proponent/licence holder etc;
  • Name and address of the appellant;
  • Substance of the decision or matter the subject of the appeal;
  • Grounds of the appeal; and
  • Outcome sought by the appellant.

In relation to the grounds of appeal, please indicate any matters that you disagree with and the reasons for your concern, so that the grounds of your appeal can be properly considered by the Minister. It is a good idea to list points, so that the issues are clear. See format of appeal page for a sample letter of appeal.

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What happens once an appeal is lodged?

Once an appeal has been received, the Appeals Convenor, acting on behalf of the Minister, is required to seek the advice of the Department of Environment Regulation or the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). The Appeals Convenor decides the most appropriate method of investigation in accordance with the requirements of the Act having regard to the nature and complexity of the issue under appeal.

Where the decision under appeal was made by the Minister, the appeal must be determined by an Appeals Committee.

After the Minister decides the outcome of the appeals, s/he writes to each appellant advising them of the decision.

For information on the procedures for each type of appeal, refer to the relevant information sheet.

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What is the effect of lodging an appeal?

Whilst an appeal is awaiting determination, the decision being appealled from will be affected in different ways. This may include the original decision being suspended (for example, an appeal against the grant of a clearing permit suspends the operation of the permit) or that the original decision continues to have effect (for example, in an appeal against the conditions of a works approval, the conditions continue to have effect).

Refer to the specific appeal pages under the types of appeal page for further information.

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Will details of my appeal be made public?

The name of the appellant and the grounds of appeal will be made available to the proponent and relevant agencies during the investigation of appeals. In exceptional circumstances, an appellant may by letter request the Appeals Convenor to withhold their name during the investigation process. Such a request should clearly explain why the request is made, and this will be considered by the Appeals Convenor.

Once the appeal is determined by the Minister, the details of the appeal will be published in accordance with the Environmental Protection Regulations 1987. This will include the names of all appellants.

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Can an appeal be lodged against the Minister's decision on an appeal?

The Minister's decisions on appeals is final and there is no further right of appeal. Accordingly, when the Department of Environment Regulation amends a clearing permit following a decision of the Minister on an appeal, there is no further right of appeal arising from that amendment.

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Can an appeal be withdrawn?

Yes, an appeal can be withdrawn at any time with at least 7 days written notice to the Minister.

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How long does the appeals process take?

While there are no statutory timelines in respect to appeal investigations, the Appeals Convenor aims to have 80% of appeal reports submitted to the Minister for Environment within 60 days of receiving a final response to the appeal from the relevant decision making authority and proponent.

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Who is notified of decisions on appeals?

The Minister is required to give written notice of the outcome of an appeal to:

  • the appellant;
  • any relevant decision-making authority;
  • the EPA;
  • the Department of Environment Regulation;
  • the proponent/licensee/land holder.

The Appeals Convenor will usually provide this information to the relevant party with five days of the Minister's decision.

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Are appeal decisions published?

Yes, appeal decisions are published on the Office of the Appeals Convenor's website, together with a copy of the Appeals Convenor's report.

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Does the State Administrative Tribunal hear appeals under the Environmental Protection Act?

No. Appeals under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 will continue to be determined by the Minister for Environment with assistance from the Office of the Appeals Convenor.

The State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) has from 1 January 2005 taken responsibility for determining appeals under water legislation, including appeals against decisions of the Department of Water in relation to water entitlements. For more information, visit the SAT website.

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Where can I get copies of the Environmental Protection Act and other legislation referred to on this website?

Copies of all Western Australian legislation referred to on this website is available on-line from the State Law Publisher. Official versions of the legislation are also available for purchase from the State Law Publisher, 10 William Street, Perth WA 6000.

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Where can I get more information?

The Appeals Convenor's Office can provide you with further information on how to lodge your appeal, and the appeals process in general. For more information, email admin@appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au or phone (08) 6467 5190.

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