The Appeals Convenor is a statutory office established under section 107A of the Environmental Protection Act 1986. The Appeals Convenor is appointed by the Governor for a maximum term of five years and is eligible for reappointment. Ms Emma Gaunt is the current Appeals Convenor.
The Appeals Convenor is supported by a Deputy Appeals Convenor, a Registrar and appeals assessors who are employed under the Public Sector Management Act 1994.
What is the function of the Appeals Convenor?
The role of the Appeals Convenor is to give advice and make recommendations to the Minister for Environment on environmental appeals made under the Environmental Protection Act 1986.
How does the Appeals Convenor conduct appeals?
In considering an appeal under the Environmental Protection Act 1986, the Appeals Convenor is required to consult with:
- the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (if the appeal is against a decision of the Department);
- the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) (where the appeal is against a decision of the Minister or the EPA); and
- the appellant.
The Appeals Convenor may also consult with such other persons as is considered necessary. This will include the proponent/licensee in the case of third party appeals.
The Appeals Convenor acts according to equity, good conscience and the substantial merits of the case, without regard to technicalities or legal forms. The Appeals Convenor is specifically not bound by any rules of evidence and may conduct inquiries in whatever manner is considered appropriate. For more information, refer to the fact sheets for the different types of appeal.
What happens when an appeal investigation is completed?
On completing the investigation of an appeal, the Appeals Convenor will provide a report to the Minister. This report recommendations must be consistent with any relevant Environmental Protection Policy or other standard prescribed under the Act.
The Minister is required to take the Appeals Convenor's report into account before deciding to allow or dismiss an appeal. The Minister's decision is final and is not subject to appeal. Copies of decisions are available on the decisions page.