Maritime Area Planning Act commences in part
The first provisions of the Maritime Area Planning Act (the MAP Act) commenced on 10 March 2022.
The following parts of the MAP Act are now in force:
- Part four, which contains the new Maritime Area Consent (MAC) regime. A MAC is a form of state consent that will allow for the occupation of the specified part of the maritime area. It also serves as a "gateway" into the development consent system. MACs will be the responsibility of the new Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (the MARA) once it is established.
For the time being, Part 4 contains transitional provisions that allow the Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications to invite MAC applications for "special MAC cases". These provisions cover the seven offshore wind projects granted "Relevant Project" status in May 2020. Accordingly, MAC applications for those projects can move forward at the invitation of the Minister.
- Part six, which sets out the new enforcement regime. These provisions empower the MARA to issue enforcement notices for breaches of the MAP Act, or a MAC or licence issued under the MAP Act. The MARA can subsequently apply to the Circuit Court for orders if any direction in an enforcement notice is not followed. Part six also allows the MARA to apply to the High Court for an immediate suspension of a MAC or licence if safety or environmental reasons justify doing so.
- Section 72, which allows the MARA to specify the forms of document required for the purposes of the MAP Act.
For a more detailed overview on the MAP Act, please read our summary here or for more information in relation to this topic, please contact any member of ALG's Environmental & Planning team.
Date published: 14 March 2022