Memorandum of Understanding for Earth Resource Industries Approval

  • the Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning replaced the former Departments of Primary Industries, and Sustainability and Environment;
  • the Earth Resources Regulation Branch joined the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.

8 November 2011

The former Department of Primary Industries
ABN 42 579 412 233

The former Department of Sustainability and Environment
ABN 90 719 052 205

The former Department Of Primary Industries and the former Department Of Sustainability and Environment

Memorandum Of Understanding For Earth Resource Industries Approvals


THE FORMER DEPARTMENT OF PRIMARY INDUSTRIES ABN 42 579 412 233 (DPI), the authority responsible for administering various legislation including but not limited to the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990, the Petroleum Act 1998, the Pipelines Act 2005, the Geothermal Energy Resources Act 2005.


THE FORMER DEPARTMENT OF SUSTAINABILITY AND ENVIRONMENT ABN 90 719 052 205 (DSE), the authority responsible for administering various legislation including but not limited to the Conservation, Forests and Land Act 1987, Catchment and Lands Protection Act 1994, Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978, Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, Forests Act 1958, Land Act 1958, the Water Act 1989, the National Parks Act 1975, the Wildlife Act 1975.

1. Purpose of the Memorandum

1.1 This Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) sets out the common understanding between the parties as a voluntary statement of intent and contains the commitment of both parties at the time the MoU is signed and for the duration of the MoU. The MoU is not intended to create legally enforceable obligations between the parties.

2. Term

2.1 This MoU is effective from the date of signature of the parties and continues until the earlier date of:

  1. Five (5) years from commencement date; or
  2. Three (3) months from the date of one party’s notice in writing to the other notifying of its intention to withdraw from this MoU; or
  3. A date that has been determined and mutually agreed to in writing by both parties to this MoU.

2.2 Consideration of a new MoU will be commenced by the parties four months prior to the expiration of this MoU.

2.3 If the parties fail to agree to enter into a new MoU, this MoU will continue until a further MoU is entered into or the MoU is terminate

3. Content

3.1 This MoU comprises two parts, the memorandum and the Schedules added for each earth resource industry work approval.

4. Responsibility

4.1 The former DPI has primary responsibility for the undertakings within this MoU. The former DPI is the key contact for granting approvals and will ensure that the interests and obligations of government are taken into account for all projects.

5. Objectives

5.1 The parties share the following objectives:

  1. The effective cooperation of both parties in the administration and implementation of their respective obligations in relation to the matters set out in the Schedules.
  2. Early and constructive engagement (i.e., attendance at initial consultation meetings) to identify and resolve issues.
  3. The provision of streamlined and timely consultation, advice and responses on activities relating to:
    1. exploration work plans;
    2. mining industry work approvals;
    3. extractive industry work approvals;
    4. pipeline project approvals;
    5. petroleum (onshore/offshore) project approvals; and
    6. geothermal project approvals.
  4. The efficient utilisation and application of The former DPI and The former DSE resources.
  5. Excellence in the management and control of environmental impacts.

6. Undertakings

6.1 The parties undertake to give effect to the arrangements and procedures set out in the Schedules and relevant laws.

6.2 The parties undertake to establish and maintain liaison contacts to ensure the effective operation of the MoU. Within fourteen (14) days of the signing of this MoU, the parties will advise each other of their respective liaison contact to whom any communication about the operation of this MoU may be addressed.

6.3 The parties undertake to inform their staff of their roles and responsibilities under this MoU, and any relevant changes to the regulatory instruments overseen by them in a timely manner as they arise.

6.4 This MoU will be jointly reviewed by the liaison contacts four months prior to expiry, or otherwise as agreed in writing between the parties.

7. Consultion

7.1 Preparation of guidelines and codes of practice and guidance

The parties will consult each other in the preparation of any guidelines, codes of practice, or guidance notes, protocols or similar material that are developed to assist operators and tenement holders to meet their legislative obligations.

7.2 Changes to policy

The parties will advise each other of any proposed changes to their policies, legislation or regulation that are likely to impact on the administration or implementation of the matters set out in the Schedules.

8. Training

8.1 The parties will notify each other as soon as reasonably practicable of any relevant training courses or workshops they conduct. Where another party is interested in participating in a course, the party conducting the course will endeavour to make at least one place available for appropriate personnel from that party.

8.2 Parties agree to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, that staff are provided with appropriate training and cross training of staff occurs where opportunities arise.

9. Confidential information

9.1 Treatment of confidential information

With respect to any information supplied by one party to another in connection with this MoU designated as confidential, each party agrees to:

protect the confidential information in a reasonable and appropriate manner and in accordance with any applicable professional standards;

use and reproduce confidential information only for the purposes set out in this MoU or in accordance with any law or court order;

not disclose or otherwise make available confidential information other than to its personnel who have a need to know the information to give effect to the purposes set out in this MoU;

maintain the confidential use, disclosure and security of the confidential information consistent with relevant privacy laws, statutory requirements and any applicable professional standards.

9.2 No confidentiality in certain instances

Clause 9.1 shall not apply to information which is:

publicly known

already known to the receiving party;

authorised in writing by the parties to be disclosed to each other

10. Privacy

10.1 The parties agree:

that any Personal or Health Information as defined in the Privacy Legislation and disclosed by in connection with this MoU has been collected in accordance with applicable Privacy Legislation, that the individual to whom the information relates has been made aware of the identity of the organisation collecting the information and of the other matters of which the individual is required to be informed under applicable Privacy Legislation, and that the disclosure of the information to, and its use by, the organisation to which it is disclosed is authorised by the individual or by law;

not to use, disclose, store, transfer or handle Personal Information collected in connection with this MoU except in accordance with applicable Privacy Legislation; and

to co-operate with any reasonable request of the other relating to the protection of Personal Information or the investigation of a complaint about the handling of Personal Information.

11. Freedom of information

11. 1 In carrying out any responsibilities under freedom of information (FOI) legislation, a party will have regard to the interests of the other party and will consult with them if a party proposes to take any action relating to a FOI request that may have an impact on the interests of the other party.

12. Ownership of information

12.1 All original documents (including written, visual or electronic forms) will remain the property of the originating party.

12.2 The parties agree to acknowledge the source of all documents used by the parties in carrying out their responsibilities under this MoU.

13. Amendment, variation or modification

13.1 This MoU may be amended, varied or modified by a further MoU in writing duly signed by the parties.

13.2 An amendment or variation to the MoU takes effect on the date it is signed by the parties or on a date agreed by the parties in writing.

13.3 Notwithstanding the above, Schedules to this MoU may be added, amended, varied or modified by the insertion of one or more new schedules duly signed by the nominated signatories. Schedules to this MoU may be removed by agreement between the nominated signatories; such agreement to be in writing and duly signed by the nominated signatory and appended to the MoU.

13.4 A party intending to amend or vary any of the terms or obligations of this MoU must provide 28 days written notice to the other party of the proposed amendment or variation including the reason for the proposed change.

14. Disputes

14.1 Where an issue arises between the parties in relation to any matter in this MoU, the nominated liaison contacts will meet to attempt to resolve the issue within 28 days. Where the nominated liaison contacts are unable to resolve the issue, the relevant Regional Director at DSE or equivalent, and the Director of Earth Resources Regulation at the former DPI or equivalent, will meet to resolve the issue.

15. Termination of the MoU

15.1 If a party wishes to terminate this MoU they must give 28 days notice in writing to the other party of their intention to terminate the MoU. This notice must include the reasons for termination and any proposed transitional arrangements.

15.2 Both parties may agree in writing to terminate this MoU at a date agreed by the parties.

16. General

16.1 Each party must pay its own expenses incurred in negotiating, executing and implementing this MoU.

16.2 Each party must do anything and must ensure that its employees and agents do anything that any other party may reasonably require to give full effect to this MoU.

16.3 This MoU does not apply to Environmental Effects Statements required under the Environment Effects Act 1978.


Executed on the day of 2011

Jeff Rosewarne
For the former Department of Primary Industries


Executed on the day of 2011

Greg Wilson
For the former Department of Sustainability and Environment

Page last updated: 25 Feb 2021