The purpose of this process map is to identify points within the environmental impact assessment process for coordinated projects where transparency and public accountability need to be strengthened.
Coordinated projects can involve multiple approval requirements across different local, state and federal government departments. Once a project is classified (declared) a coordinated project, the environmental impact assessment process is coordinated through the Office of the Coordinator-General.
The coordinated project process is an efficient way to coordinate whole-of-government approval processes. However, the broad discretionary decision-making powers available to the Coordinator-General to facilitate state development can also create risks if those powers are not exercised in a highly transparent and accountable manner.
In 2017, Transparency International Australia’s Mining Awards Corruption Risk Assessment identified corruption risks associated with the Coordinator-General’s discretionary powers. These included the risk of external interference in the Coordinator- General’s recommendations, evaluations and imposition of conditions, and the risk of policy and state capture (undue influence) by mining companies.