Investigations or environmental assessments

Investigations or environmental assessments

In very limited circumstances, WaterNSW will consider consent applications by external parties to undertake new developments and activities in WaterNSW Special and Controlled Areas.

Applicants seeking consent for new developments or activities in WaterNSW Special and Controlled Areas must undertake an environmental assessment and get approval under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. Applicants must first contact WaterNSW's Planning and Assessments Team to discuss the proposed development, any Environmental Impact Assessment that is required, and the relevant approval process.

Applicants may require consent to WaterNSW Special and Controlled Areas for investigations and environmental assessments activities. This may include, but is not limited to, site inspections, flora and fauna surveys, heritage and archaeological investigations, geological surveys, site surveys and hydrometric investigations.

Additional information required

In addition to showing how their consent application meets the standard criteria, applicants must provide the following information, to the satisfaction of WaterNSW:

  • Investigation and environmental assessment activities are usually carried out by a variety of contractors, or consultants, engaged by the applicant. As part of the consent application, you must include all proposed environmental assessment activities and investigations, so one access consent can be issued to the applicant (covering applicant and relevant contractors) or the lead consultant (covering lead consultant and all relevant sub-contractors).

Other licences or permits 

Applicants undertaking investigations and environmental assessments must attach copies of all other permits or licences which may be required by other agencies with their consent application, or written statements from the relevant agency that such a permit is not required. This may include permits required to collect or disturb native flora, fauna or aquatic species under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 or the Fisheries Management Act 1994. If the investigation and environmental assessment involve collecting flora or fauna specimens, applicants must detail the extent of the collection and its expected impact. Applicants must identify any impact on endangered or threatened species or communities listed under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act or otherwise significant communities or species (see also below Approvals under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979).

If the environmental assessment and investigation activities involve archaeological activities which impact on Aboriginal cultural heritage, an Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit, under the National Parks and Wildlife Act, may be required as well as consultation with the relevant Aboriginal community consistent with the Code of Practice for Archaeological Investigation of Aboriginal Objects in NSW, Department of Environment and Heritage, September 2010 and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Consultation Requirements for Proponents, Department of Environment and Heritage, April 2010 (see for details).

Any investigation or environmental assessment activity which may impact on a known or potential heritage item may require authorisation under the Heritage Act. If an applicant believes that their activity may impact on a heritage item, they must contact WaterNSW's Planning and Assessments Team, before submitting their consent application to discuss the relevant approval process.


Tuesday 15 June
2,480,024 ML
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Tuesday 15 June