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17 May 2010
The proposed Nishi development at Acton in Canberra does not require further assessment under national environment law, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
“The Nishi Building proposal was referred to me to see whether it requires assessment and approval under the EPBC Act,” Minister Garrett said.
“While I respect that there are divergent and strong views on this proposal, my job is to assess whether the proposal specifically was likely to have a significant impact on the National Heritage values of the Australian Academy of Science Building, the Shine Dome.
“I have given this thorough and rigorous consideration, including taking advice from my department, the Australian Heritage Council and public comments. I also visited the site myself to get a first hand experience of the proposal.
“Having weighed up all of that advice I am unconvinced this proposal is likely to significantly impact on National Heritage values, as described in the listing for the Academy of Science Building.
“The EPBC Act is therefore not triggered by this proposal and I do not have a role in approving it under national environmental law,” he said.
The Minister’s decision does not affect any requirement for separate Territory or other government assessments and approvals.
The Minister said he had also asked his Department to work closely with Canberra planning authorities to ensure that future decisions take into account Commonwealth and National Heritage issues early in the planning process.