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Determining the value and influence of informal strategic advice for environmental impact assessment: Western Australian perspectives

Martin, L. and Morrison-Saunders, A. (2015) Determining the value and influence of informal strategic advice for environmental impact assessment: Western Australian perspectives. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 33 (4). pp. 265-277.

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Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14615517.2015.1080032
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Abstract

Formal processes for environmental impact assessment (EIA) have been established throughout the world and dominate research and practice papers. In Western Australia informal strategic advice, which sits outside of the legally binding project-based EIA, is used to inform the pre-project stages of development. Through interviews with 29 practitioners who have been involved in the formulation or use of this advice, this research investigated the value and influence of informal non-binding strategic advice. Strategic advice was considered valuable in providing upfront early guidance although practitioners would prefer greater certainty and clarity on what is acceptable. Identified limitations in its use included the cost, time and resources required in providing advice; currency and shelf life; uptake; and issues with implementing non-enforceable recommendations. Provision of clear objectives, improvements in the timing and relevance of advice and making more use of advice during EIA were identified as positive ways forward. Overall results recognise the value of informal strategic advice as a means to complement formal EIA and as a useful tool to assist with making better informed decisions earlier in the assessment process.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Copyright: 2015 IAIA
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/29182
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