JOINT MEDIA RELEASE WITH HON MATTHEW GROOM, TASMANIAN MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
The Tasmanian and Federal Governments have now created a One-Stop Shop for environmental assessments in Tasmania, with Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Tasmanian Environment Minister Matthew Groom signing a new assessment bilateral agreement.
Reducing the regulatory burden on business by streamlining the environmental assessment and approval processes was a key federal election commitment of the Coalition.
Bilateral agreements are put in place to protect the environment, ensure an efficient, timely and effective process and minimise duplication between Commonwealth and state processes.
“This vital reform will save business in Australia about $420 million every year,” said Minister Hunt.
“Duplication of federal, state and local planning processes adds complexity and cost to environmental approvals across the country – with no added environmental benefit.”
“Under current arrangements, major projects can be delayed through multiple and duplicative approval processes, even if the project is environmentally acceptable.”
The One-Stop Shop reform will accredit relevant Tasmanian planning processes systems under national environmental law, to create a single assessment process that satisfies both Governments’ requirements.
“This is an outstanding example of what two governments can achieve when they work cooperatively on a common goal,” said Minister Groom.
“This new agreement will deliver on our commitment to streamline the state and Commonwealth assessment process and ensure we are maximising growth and investment opportunities for Tasmania.”
“This will deliver a real boost to Tasmania’s economy while ensuring our precious environment continues to be protected.”
Modelling for the Minerals Council Australia undertaken by BAEconomics shows that reducing the timeframe for environmental approvals by one year would deliver the Tasmanian economy 1242 additional jobs by 2025 and provide cumulative real gains to the value of GSP of $2.88 billion.
Further information can be found at http://www.environment.gov.au/topics/environment-protection/environment-assessments/bilateral-agreements.