The key legislation that informs the planning approval process and environmental impact assessments for all Sydney Metro projects are:
The Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)
The NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act), and
The NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (supports the EP&A Act).
The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (EP&A Act) establishes the system for environmental planning and assessment in NSW. It sets outs the requirements needed to obtain consent and approval to start development and infrastructure activities. The EP&A Act also specifies the nature of the environmental impact assessment and public consultation requirements needed to obtain consent and approvals.
The EP&A Act has multiple planning approval pathways which Sydney Metro uses to assess various projects, including the environmental impact assessment requirements and the approval process for Critical State Significant Infrastructure. The Sydney Metro Northwest and Sydney Metro City & Southwest projects have been declared Critical State Significant Infrastructure due to their size and economic value.