Assessment Summary Components
Understanding of likely environmental impacts while expected to be local in nature remain unclear with only ad hoc baseline information available.
Understanding: Impact issues are clear, although cumulative effects are poorly understood
Planning: Resource assessment and planning is ad hoc and conducted on local scales, driven by commercial constraints and community pressures
Planning: In relation to marine issues, this is mainly ad hoc, driven by commercial constraints; resource projects are not denied on environmental impact grounds; there is little consideration of regional cumulative impacts
Inputs: Limited data are available. International studies and established marine mining codes of conduct can inform understanding and planning
Inputs: Site-based inputs are substantial, and there is substantial monitoring of site impacts
Processes: Australian Government and state/territory regulatory framework largely untested except where the marine mining is established. State/territory-level decisions limited to temporary moratoria.
Processes: Shoreline and marine-based structures are heavily regulated and subjected to site-based assessments to minimise local impacts
Outputs: Established operations have management programs; proposed operations have only desktop analysis. Limited research outputs exist (bathymetric mapping, benthic surveys etc.)
Outputs: Increasing management programs for water, air and land pollution; limited management of cumulative impacts, alienation of coastal habitats for infrastructure requirements, or alterations to water and sediment regimes in adjacent areas
Outcomes: Established operations mitigate for local impacts, though not cumulative impacts
Outcomes: Modern industry and mining have limited local area impacts, except where the resource itself is mined, such as marine sands. However, cumulative impacts of infrastructure are significant, and risks (such as pollution) are increased by intensification, with demonstrated impacts on local habitats and species
Understanding: There is currently reasonably good understanding of impacts associated with groundings, pollution, and introduction of marine species, with less understanding of impacts associated with on-going low level noise and vessel strike
Understanding: Good understanding of impacts, other than acoustic impacts and behavioural disturbance
Planning: There is good level of national and international coordination to manage the direct impacts associated with pollution and grounding of commercial vessels, management systems for mitigating impacts of introduced species are improving and some planning associated with the impacts of vessel strike is being conducted
Planning: Good level of national and international coordination to manage shipping impacts
Inputs: Monitoring and reporting systems for maritime safety, pollution and grounding of ships are well developed
Inputs: Strong management systems are in place, although issues remain regarding monitoring and compliance
Process: Shipping management systems and implementation of national and international provisions continue to provide effective protection in most areas. There is little direct management of vessel strike and general vessel noise, largely due to a lack of information quantifying impacts and for which management frameworks could be informed by.
Processes: Shipping management systems are well developed and moderately effective. Groundings, shipping lanes and pest species are generally well managed nationally and internationally, but species introductions continue to occur at a high rate
Outputs: Management frameworks ensure that environmental non-compliance in association with safety, pollution and grounding is addressed, however, empirical information that could provide insight into the commercial industry’s approach to environmental performance is not available
Outputs: Further management is needed to ensure that best-practice procedures are maintained
Outcomes: Management frameworks currently largely address impacts associated with groundings, pollution, and introduction of marine species, with management of impacts associated with on-going low level noise and vessel strike impeded by a lack of data
Outcomes: Intensification of shipping remains a significant risk for pests, groundings and marine mammals
Understanding: Sources of underwater noise across sectors are well known, however knowledge of impacts requires a greater level of understanding.
Planning: Acute impacts across sectors are largely managed through EPBC Act approval processes, regulatory frameworks and internal environmental planning reducing risks, planning associated with chronic impacts is less established
Inputs: Substantial information is available to inform management with varying degrees of uptake across sectors.
Processes: Environmental authorisation processes associated with or endorsed by the EPBC Act are in place across sectors for acute impacts; there is little management of chronic impacts
Outputs: Assessment and inspection of noise producing activities associated with the oil and gas industry and environmental assessments and collaborative research programs conducted by the Navy are used to inform required areas of improvement in these sectors. Outputs and improvement processes across other sectors are less clear.
An increased level of regulatory oversight for oil and gas activities and ongoing research and inputs into environmental plans for the Navy aim to ensure effective management of underwater noise in these sectors. Management outcomes for other sectors are less clear.