JOINT MEDIA RELEASE WITH HON GARY HIGGINS MLA, NT MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
The Australian and Northern Territory Governments have signed a new bilateral agreement for environmental assessments as part of the One-Stop Shop reform.
This means that all states and territories now have new bilateral agreements in place for environmental assessment.
The agreement accredits Northern Territory environmental assessment legislation, administered by the Northern Territory EPA, to create a single assessment process that satisfies both Governments’ requirements.
The Commonwealth Minister will retain responsibility for approving projects.
Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the signing of this agreement is another important milestone in achieving the Australian Government’s commitment to reducing the regulatory burden on business.
“This will reduce duplication of red tape and put in place a critical reform that will save business in Australia around $420 million each year.
“Removing unnecessary duplication will streamline the assessment process for business while maintaining high environmental standards,” said Mr Hunt.
Northern Territory Minister for the Environment Gary Higgins said the new agreement replaces the previous bilateral assessment and will boost business, create jobs and lead to growth in the Territory’s economy while ensuring that the highest environmental standards are kept in place.
“The positive move will eliminate duplication of federal and territory planning processes which adds complexity and cost to environmental approvals in the Northern Territory,” said Mr Higgins.
The Minerals Council of Australia has stated that reducing approval timelines by one year has the potential to lift Australia’s national output by $160 billion and create an extra 69,000 jobs by 2025.
The signing of the agreement with the Northern Territory marks a significant step in the progress of the One-Stop Shop across Australia.
Further information can be found at http://www.environment.gov.au/topics/environment-protection/environment-assessments/bilateral-agreements(ENDS