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The sixth edition of Environmental Impact Assessment in Australia: Theory and Practice has been revised in the context of reviewing EIA practice around Australia and updates a number of case studies throughout the text to complement the theory. The case studies demonstrate key points within the text and should not be viewed as the only way of doing EIA (or a component of EIA).
Thomas’s experience in the historical context and evolution of environmental impact assessment and the research in this area of EIA provided in previous editions remains in many parts, although updated where relevant. The sixth edition focus continues to provide commentary on the evolving theory and practice regarding impact assessment, specifically strategic environmental assessment, cumulative impact assessment, health impact assessment, sustainability assessment, the role of EIA in developing countries and the issues surrounding post EIA monitoring.
Elliott’s experience working in EIA for the State Government of Victoria for ten years and most recently as a consultant assisting proponents with EIA, has provided insight into how EIA is undertaken in practice. Reflected throughout this edition is this practical application - how good assessments can lead to better decisions as well as how politics plays an integral role in EIA. Early and effective stakeholder consultation is also highlighted as an important mechanism to delivering a successful EIA process.
Once again, the Commonwealth, State and Territories EIA procedures, have been revised, as many of these jurisdictions have had their procedures reviewed over the past 4-5 years, including amendments to their EIA legislation, or to existing EIA Guidelines/administrative procedures. Notwithstanding these changes, the way in which EIA is undertaken still remains. That is, screening, scoping, EIS production, public review and Assessment.