The National Assessment Guidelines for Dredging were approved by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts in February 2009. They replace the National Ocean Disposal Guidelines for Dredged Material 2002 for assessment of dredging applications by the Australian Government. There will be transitional arrangements for some applications which have commenced assessment under the previous guidelines.
The National Assessment Guidelines for Dredging assist applicants and assessors by:
- Incorporating current best-practice methods and approaches;
- Providing guidance on assessing the impacts of loading dredged material;
- Aligning the assessment process with international obligations, including consideration of alternatives to sea disposal and beneficial uses; and
- Providing greater guidance on physical impact assessment.
The guidelines were developed in consultation with various agencies, organisations and key individuals. They should be read in conjunction with the Sea Dumping Act and its Regulations, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and Australia's international obligations outlined in the London Protocol.
These guidelines provide information about the assessment and permitting processes and will be a key tool when preparing a permit application. The guidelines will also help to identify opportunities for longer-term strategic planning and project management.