Streamlining water and environmental assessments
One-stop shop launched

Early in 2018 we launched our new one-stop shop single entry point on our website, as well as an enquiries hotline, bringing together all environment and water assessment, approval applications and enquiries under a single contact point.

The creation of the one-stop shop service is consistent with the state government’s public sector reforms, which are designed to improve customer access to government services online and reduce response times. The department’s improvements demonstrate how agencies can contribute to and support the government’s drive for digital transformation across the public sector.

Diversifying agriculture in the Kimberley and Pilbara under a one-stop shop

In line with the one-stop shop framework, the department established a team of senior specialists tasked to deliver efficient assessments of environmental and water approvals relating to northern irrigated agriculture proposals in the Pilbara and Kimberley regions.

The department received a large number of applications for native vegetation clearing and groundwater abstraction in these regions.

The Kimberley and Pilbara regions retain high conservation values. Limited existing information about these conservation values generally results in applicants being required to conduct their own surveys.

The department engaged with proponents early in the development phase through our water licensing, vegetation clearing and environmental impact assessment processes to enable early recognition of the issues to be addressed, which in turn allowed the timely assessment of their applications. 

The department collaborated with other state government agencies to improve coordination and support the scientific and policy work being undertaken. We partnered with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to streamline applications related to irrigated agriculture by establishing an inter-agency working group.

We also collaborated with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions to support scientific and policy work on native flora, fauna and coastal wetlands in the rangelands, providing information to support the assessment of applications.

During the 2017–18 financial year, the department was able to finalise the assessment of 14 clearing permit applications and 20 water licences relating to irrigated agriculture in the Pilbara and Kimberley regions. A further four clearing applications relating to the Carlton Plains proposal were referred to the EPA under Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act 1986, culminating in the release of the EPA assessment report for Stage 1 of the Carlton Plains proposal in March.

Download Annual report 2017-18 (PDF 4.34 MB)