As the Deputy will be aware, there is a backlog of license applications that require an Appropriate Assessment (AA). My Department has put in place a detailed project plan for dealing with this backlog which includes recruitment of additional ecologists, forestry inspectors and administrative staff where required.
In this case, the licence application is waiting to be reviewed by a Department ecologist. Due to the current backlog of applications waiting for an Appropriate Assessment (AA), it will take some time before an ecologist will be assigned to work on an AA Determination for this application. The current estimate is over nine months.
Submitting a Natura Impact Statement (NIS) for this licence would however significantly reduce the length of time it would take for the Department to complete the AA process for this application. On receipt of a satisfactory NIS, the length of time it would take to complete the AA process is estimated to be between two and three months.
If the applicant wishes to submit a NIS for this application, please notify the Department by email to email@example.com who can assist in the process.