The Federal Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, and the New South Wales Minister for Roads Duncan Gay, today announced that the strategic assessment of small scale road and traffic works has been approved under national environment law.
Through the strategic assessment, a broad, landscape scale assessment of potential impacts to the environment has been completed. This means the NSW Roads and Maritime Service can get on with critical road improvements, without needing to wait for approval from the Australian Government.
Minister Hunt said “Strategic assessments are a fantastic tool that allows us to streamline approvals while maintaining high environmental standards.”
“The approval of this strategic assessment will improve the efficiency of road upgrades in NSW, but most importantly we have done this while maintaining high environmental standards.”
“We are demonstrating to the community that the Australian Government is serious about reducing red tape and we are serious about protecting the environment. While Labor and the Greens delay the legislation needed for the One-Stop Shop reform, we are getting one with strategic assessments that provide benefits to business, to the community and to the environment.”
Minister Gay said that previously there was unnecessary duplication in the approvals required for some road and traffic management activities undertaken by NSW Roads and Maritime.
“The activities covered by this decision are smaller-scale projects that are not of state significance such as new overtaking lanes for existing roads, short sections of new road, bridge replacement projects and a range of routine maintenance and safety works,” Minister Gay said.
“This great cooperation between the two tiers of government will save the time and cost previously spent on multiple approvals and removes unproductive red tape from both governments.
Further information on the Program and strategic assessment can be found on the federal Department of the Environment’s website: www.environment.gov.au/topics/environment-protection/environment-assessments/strategic-assessments